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Methodist pastor defrocked for officiating gay wedding comment (0)

January 9, 2014

LEBANON, Pa. — Frank Schaefer was defrocked by United Methodist officials in Pennsylvania on Dec. 19, 2013, after he refused to conform to denominational rules that prohibit ministers from officiating at same-sex weddings.

Schaefer, who serves as pastor of a church in Lebanon, Pa., said he plans to appeal the decision.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Board of Ordained Ministry had no choice, Bishop Peggy A. Johnson said in a statement. A two-day church trial in November 2013 found Schaefer guilty of violating church law by performing the 2007 same-sex wedding of his son. A jury suspended him for 30 days, during which he was asked to decide whether he could comply with church law; if not, he was to surrender his clergy credentials.

In early December 2013, Schaefer said he would not voluntarily leave the ministry. He has said his actions were motivated by love.

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