US: Pastor refuses to quit voluntarily for officiating at gay son’s wedding

Joseph McCormick December 16, 2013
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A Methodist minister in the US state of Pennsylvania has refused to voluntarily step down after he was put “on trial”, for officiating at his gay son’s wedding, and after saying he would not renounce his actions.

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.

Reverend Schaefer held a press conference on Monday during which he said he would not voluntarily step down from his role, but that he would not up hold the Book of Discipline because he finds it to be discriminatory.

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

He has said he does not know what will happen next, but he is scheduled to meet with church officials on Thursday in order to discuss his future within the church.

Referend Schaefer has already said other denominations, including the Episcopal church have contacted him with potential job offers.


Related topics: Civil partnerships, equal marriage, frank schaefer, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, Marriage and Civil Partnerships Bill (Scotland), marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, US, wedding, zion united methodist church

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