Church Reinstates Pastor Booted Over Son's Gay Wedding

Frank Schaefer can't be punished for refusing to perform future ceremonies

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 24, 2014 1:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Methodist church reinstated the pastor who officiated at his gay son's wedding today, overturning an earlier decision to defrock him for refusing to never perform another same-sex ceremony. Frank Schaefer is headed back to the pulpit, where the AP notes he'll collect back pay. The appeals panel ruled that while Schaefer's suspension for breaking church law was legit, "revoking his credentials cannot be squared with the well-established principle that our clergy can only be punished for what they have been convicted of doing in the past, not for what they may or may not do in the future." Gawker and a number of other media outlets are having a little fun with the AP's slightly flubbed tweet. (Meanwhile, the Mormon church excommunicated a woman for pushing the idea of female priests.)

In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Frank Schaefer, a Methodist pastor who was defrocked for officiating at his son's wedding to another man, arrives for an appeal hearing.
In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Frank Schaefer, a Methodist pastor who was defrocked for officiating at his son's wedding to another man, arrives for an appeal hearing.   (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)
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