A United Methodist pastor faces possible dismissal over
officiating at his son's 2007 wedding to another man in
Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2004.
According to The
Patriot News, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor at Zion United
Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, faces suspension
or the possibility of being defrocked for presiding over the wedding
of his son Tim.
“We just love him so much it was an honor to be asked. Had I
said no to him, it would have negated all the affirmations we gave
him for all those year[s] … that we believe you are just as worthy
and precious in God's sight as anybody else.”
A complaint was filed against Schaefer by one of his congregants
just 26 days before the church's statute of limitations would have
He is accused of breaching the church's Book of Discipline, the
denomination's law book, which prohibits clergy from performing
“ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.”
“For me this is a human rights issue,” Schaefer told the
paper. “If being of a certain sexual orientation is who you are as
a person, if that is genetic, who are we to say that these persons do
not have the same rights as everybody else.”
The Book of Discipline, Schaefer said, calls on him to “minister
to everybody” equally.
Schaefer's trial is scheduled to begin November 18 outside