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US: Pastor defrocked for officiating at gay son’s wedding

Joseph McCormick December 19, 2013
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A pastor from Pennsylvania has been defrocked after a period of suspension for officiating at his gay son’s wedding out-of-state.

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

On Thursday Reverend Schaefer met with church officials in order to determine whether he would be allowed to remain in his position.

A spokesman from the church John Coleman, has said that officials decided to defrock him.

Reverend Schaefer left the meeting without making comment, according to reports, but plans to address the issue later in the day.

He 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”.

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


More: Church, Civil partnerships, equal marriage, frank schaefer, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, Reverend, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, united methodist church, US, wedding, zion united methodist church

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