The United Methodist Church (UMC) pastor who was terminated for officiating his gay son’s wedding ceremony is now appealing the church’s decision. Pastor Frank Schaefer was was defrocked from in 2013 it was discovered that he had performed the wedding in 2007.
The hearing will begin on Friday in Baltimore Maryland; a decision from the Committee on Appeals for the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the UMC could come as soon as Saturday.
“We felt very strongly that the penalty -- my defrocking -- was really not in line with the church’s law. What they based the defrocking on was a promise to not perform another gay marriage. You can’t punish someone based on something that haven’t done yet. You can’t defrock on a promise,” Schaefer said.
In the months since Schaefer was ousted from the ministry, he has traveled around the nation speaking against the UMC’s anti-gay policies. The pastor wrote “Defrocked” about the case; a documentary film and play are coming next.
“I was silent for too long. I will not refuse ministry to anybody based on their sexual orientation. We have to stop harming beloved children of God,” Schaefer said.
Publication date: June 20, 2014