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