One Equal World

Pastor Who Was Defrocked After Marrying His Gay Son, Let Back Into Church

Posted on: June 24, 2014

Rev. Frank Schaefer back in December was defrocked after he officiated the marriage of his gay son.

Schaefer at the time had met with officials, who originally put him on suspension for thirty days. The period was meant to be a time of reflection, meant to have the Reverend to accept that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teachings. However, Schaefer stated he would not do that stating:

“I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a force now for many, for tens of thousands of LGBT members in our church. … I cannot uphold the United Methodist Book of Discipline in its entirety. . … I cannot uphold those discriminatory laws … that are hurtful and harmful to our homosexual brothers and sisters in the church.”

Schaefer was kicked out of the church, however in a move that is surprising many, the United Methodist Church have voted to let him return to the pulpit. This comes on the heels of Schafer’s appeal of the ruling.

Schaefer stands in front of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in South Lebanon Township.

Schaefer stands in front of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in South Lebanon Township.

“The nine-person [appeals] panel ordered the church to restore Frank Schaefer’s pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him of breaking church law erred when fashioning his punishment.

“I’ve devoted my life to this church, to serving this church, and to be restored and to be able to call myself a reverend again and to speak with this voice means so much to me,” an exultant Schaefer told The Associated Press, adding he intends to work for gay rights “with an even stronger voice from within the United Methodist Church.” …

The appeals panel, which met in Linthicum, Maryland, last week to hear the case, upheld a 30-day suspension that Schaefer has already served and said he should get back pay dating to when the suspension ended in December.

The jury’s punishment was illegal under church law, the appeals panel concluded, writing in its decision that “revoking his credentials cannot be squared with the well-established principle that our clergy can only be punished for what they have been convicted of doing in the past, not for what they may or may not do in the future.”

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