A second United Methodist pastor will
stand trial for officiating the wedding of his son to another man in
New York, which legalized gay marriage in 2011.
The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, 80, has been
formally charged with violating church law, which prohibits gay
unions. Dorothee Benz, Ogletree's spokeswoman, said Friday that the
pastor's trial will be held at First United Methodist Church in
Stamford, Connecticut on March 10. Benz said notice of the trial was
received by mail on Thursday.
“It is a shame that the church is
choosing to prosecute me for this act of love, which is entirely in
keeping with my ordination vows to 'seek peace, justice, and freedom
for all people' and with the Methodism's historic commitment to
inclusive ministry embodied in its slogan 'open hearts, open minds,
open doors,'” Ogletree
said in a statement.
Last month, the church defrocked pastor
Frank Schaefer of central Pennsylvania. Schaefer, who has three gay
children, was found guilty of violating church law for officiating at
his gay son's wedding.
Schaefer, pastor defrocked over gay wedding, considering job offer.)
The Rev. Randall Paige of Christ Church
UMC in Port Jefferson Station, New York led in filing the complaint
Paige wrote in an email that the trial
was necessary because Ogletree refused to promise that he would not
repeat the offense.
The clergy were prompted to file their
complaint after the Ogletree's son's 2012 wedding announcement
appeared in The New York Times.