HRC Blog

United Methodist Pastor Defrocked for Performing Same-Sex Wedding

United Methodist church officials defrocked a pastor from central Pennsylvania on Thursday for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding in Massachusetts, a move seen as contradictory to the denomination’s beliefs.


Rev. Frank Schaefer was serving a 30-day suspension for officiating the 2007 wedding of his gay son in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions are legal. He was told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination's Book of Discipline. In a press conference, Rev. Schaefer said, “My conscience does not allow me to uphold the entire Discipline because it contains discriminatory provisions and language that is hurtful and harmful to our homosexual brothers and sisters. It denies them their full humanity. I simply cannot uphold those parts of the Discipline.”


Furthermore, he said that he will not surrender his clergy credentials and intends to continue to be an outspoken advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.


Although the United Methodist Church accepts LGBT members, it rejects the practice of homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Learn how HRC’s Religion and Faith Program is changing the religious discourse on LGBT people by going to www.hrc.org/religion.

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