Pastor Defrocked Over Son's Gay Wedding

Church gave Rev. Frank Schaefer an ultimatum, and he refused
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 10:37 AM CST
The Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist clergyman convicted of breaking church law for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding, arrives for a hearing Dec. 19, 2013, in Norristown, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – The United Methodist Church dropped the hammer today on a Pennsylvania pastor who'd performed his son's same-sex wedding, defrocking him entirely. The church board decided Rev. Frank Schaefer's fate in a meeting that lasted just 15 minutes, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The church had convicted him last month, and on Monday told him that if he didn't renounce his same-sex-marrying ways and recommit to the Methodist Book of Discipline, he should resign.

But Schaefer responded by saying that he could not "uphold those discriminatory laws" because they are "hurtful and harmful to our homosexual brothers and sisters in the church." He also refused to voluntarily resign, the AP reports. The case has set off debate within the church. One bishop, for example, posted a statement Monday saying that "several statements in the Book of Discipline are discriminatory," which has left many "wondering how we can talk out of two sides of our mouth," the Washington Post reports. Later, she posted a revised version saying that the statements "may seem discriminatory" but were "intended to be clear and fair." (Read more Frank Schaefer stories.)

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