A Pennsylvania pastor charged with
breaking United Methodist law for officiating over his son's marriage
to another man faces the possibility of being defrocked.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor at Zion
United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, faces suspension or the
possibility of being defrocked for presiding over the 2007 wedding of
his son Tim in Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2004.
Schaefer's trial is scheduled to begin
Monday in Spring City and could last up to 3 days.
“Public opinion has changed very
rapidly,” Tim Schaefer, 29, told the AP. “I hope this leads to a
renewed conversation to revisiting these policies to see if they are
a little archaic.”
Frank Schaefer said that he informed
his superiors that he planned to officiate at his son's wedding
before the ceremony took place.
It wasn't until 26 days before the
church's statute of limitations would have expired that a complaint
was filed against Schaefer by one of his congregrants that the church
took action against him.
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
The Book of Discipline, Schaefer said,
calls on him to “minister to everybody” equally.