Church Convicts Pastor Who Held Son's Gay Wedding

Frank Schaefer could be defrocked over 2007 ceremony
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2013 11:39 AM CST
Church Convicts Pastor Who Held Son's Gay Wedding
This September 2013 photo shows Schaefer, right, and his son, Tim.   (AP Photo/ Schaefer Family, File)

A Methodist minister could lose his credentials after performing his son's gay wedding. A church trial yesterday in Pennsylvania found the Rev. Frank Schaefer guilty of violating church law, the AP reports; proceedings to decide the penalty—anything from a reprimand to defrocking—begin today. During the Methodist trial, which included a judge, jury, and counsels for each side, Schaefer said he was trying to minister to all as God commanded, even if that meant breaking with Methodist teaching.

Methodism rejects homosexuality, calling it "incompatible with Christian teaching," though it accepts gay members. "I've been a minister for almost 20 years and there are so many good things about the United Methodist Church except for that one rule," says Schaefer, whose church is in the small town of Lebanon. Had he agreed to forego any future gay weddings, the trial might have been averted, he notes, adding that he couldn't do that because three of his four kids are homosexual. His son Tim, whose wedding Schaefer officiated in Massachusetts in 2007, had considered suicide because of his sexuality, the Washington Post notes. (More United Methodists stories.)

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