Methodist Defrocks Pennsylvania Pastor For Officiating Son's Same-Sex Marriage
A pastor of the United Methodist Church, Frank Schaefer, has been defrocked for officiating his son's 2007 wedding to his male partner. Schaefer, of Pennsylvania, was already serving a 30-day suspension when, on Thursday, he was told to resign if he decided he couldn't follow the church's Book of Discipline, which rejects homosexuality. Officials had told him to use the month away to consider whether he could follow doctrine.
"I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a voice now for many — for tens of thousands — of LGBT members in our church," Schaefer said Monday.
As we reported:
The church's Book of Discipline opposes the "practice" of homosexuality, even though the Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members.
"I am actively committing to having those discriminatory laws changed and banished from our Book of Discipline," Schaefer said. "That's the only way I can reconcile being a United Methodist at this point."
But three of Schaefer's four children are gay. Though refusing to perform a wedding for any more same-sex partners would have saved him the 30-day trial, Schaefer couldn't do that without recanting his support for his children.