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US: Reverend who officiated at gay son’s wedding may be defrocked

Joseph McCormick December 14, 2013
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A US pastor who officiated at his gay son’s wedding in 2006, is to announce next week whether he will renounce his actions or surrender his position as minister.

Frank Schaefer, a pastor of the Zion United Methodist Church, testified he had conflicted feelings when he agreed to help his son and his partner marry, but chose to defy his denomination out of love for his family.

Last month the jury at his “trial”, sentenced him to suspension for 30 days, in which time he was invited to reverse his position on same-sex marriage, or become defrocked at the end.

He has since said he is unrepentant, that he “will never be silent again”, and that he expects to be defrocked by the board considering his case.

On Monday, Reverend Schaefer is expected to be joined by a group of equal-marriage supporting clergy members as he announces his decision

He will then on Friday meet with his conference’s board of ordained ministry, on which its decision will be announced.

Despite that the United Methodist Church accepts gay and lesbian members into its congregations, its rule book deems homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching”.

Reverend Schaefer also notes that he married his son in a restaurant function hall, rather than a church.

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