News

Lebanon pastor won't quit voluntarily over gay wedding

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 16, 2013 8:24 AM
Same sex marriage.jpg

(Philadelphia) -- A United Methodist minister from Lebanon plans to defy a church order to surrender his credentials for performing a same-sex wedding.  

The Reverend Frank Schaefer says he cannot uphold the church's Book of Discipline because he finds it discriminatory. The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members but rejects the practice of homosexuality as ``incompatible with Christian teaching.''  

Schaefer says he doesn't know what will happen next. He's scheduled to meet with church officials Thursday about his future, following his conviction in a church trial last month.  

However, he says the Episcopal church and other denominations have contacted him about his career.  

Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson acknowledges the denomination is in turmoil over the issue. She says the church uses contradictory language about sexual orientation. 

Schaefer is serving a 30-day suspension from his Lebanon County church for leading his son's same-sex wedding in Massachusetts.

This story has been updated at 11:45 a.m. on 12/16/13

(Philadelphia) --  A United Methodist minister punished for officiating at his gay son's wedding is set to talk about his future.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon is holding a news conference today in Philadelphia. He's been ordered to surrender his religious credentials by Thursday if he can't adhere to church doctrine.

The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members but rejects the practice of homosexuality as ``incompatible with Christian teaching.''

Schaefer is serving a 30-day suspension from his central Pennsylvania church for leading his son's wedding in Massachusetts.

Today he'll be joined by a group of Methodist ministers who will discuss a petition being presented to Bishop Peggy Johnson.

It asks her to stop holding religious trials for pastors who perform gay weddings.

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