(Norristown) -- A United Methodist bishop in southeastern Pennsylvania says she didn't want to put a Lebanon pastor on trial for officiating at his gay son's wedding.
Bishop Peggy Johnson says she tried ``very, very, very hard to avoid this trial.''
But she says she had to follow the Methodist Book of Discipline.
Johnson's remarks came after about two dozen people delivered a petition to church offices in Norristown.
The petition with 25-thousand signatures asks Johnson to stop holding religious trials for ministers who perform gay weddings.
On Tuesday, a church jury suspended the Reverend Frank Schaefer of Lebanon County for officiating at the marriage of his gay son.
The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members, but it rejects the practice of homosexuality as ``incompatible with Christian teaching.''
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