(Spring City) -- A church prosecutor has urged a jury of United Methodist clergy to defrock a Lebanon County pastor for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding in Massachusetts, saying he is unrepentant and will defy church law again if given the chance.
The Reverend Christopher Fisher said in his closing argument today Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer of Lebanon refuses to live by his vows and should be kicked out of ministry.
Schaefer was convicted of violating church rules by performing the marriage rite for his gay son.
He told jurors he has been called by God to be an advocate for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people.
Schaefer's counsel urged the jury to show mercy.
Jurors got the case late this afternoon in Chester County and have started deliberating.
This story was updated at 6:10 p.m. on 11/19/13
(Spring City) -- A United Methodist minister from Lebanon convicted of breaking church law by officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son in Massachusetts says he is unrepentant and refused to promise he wouldn't perform more gay unions.
The Reverend Frank Schaefer has testified at the penalty phase of his church trial in Chester County.
Schaefer could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to losing his minister's credentials.
He told jurors he has been called by God to be an advocate for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. He says the church needs to stop treating them as ``second-class Christians.''
A jury of Methodist clergy people convicted Schaefer on Monday of breaking a church law that forbids pastors from marrying same-sex partners.
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