Rev. Frank Schaefer (pictured) could be defrocked if a jury comprised of fellow Methodist clergy “convicts” him of breaking his pastoral vows by officiating the marriage ceremony in Massachusetts back in 2007. The ceremony was between Schaefer’s son, Tim, and his male partner.
The church claims to accept LGBT members, but rejects the practice of homosexuality, deeming it “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
The issue has split the church in recent years. Hundreds of Methodist ministers have publicly rejected church doctrine on homosexuality. As a result, some of them have faced disciplinary action for presiding over same-sex unions.
“Public opinion has changed very rapidly,” said the pastor’s son Tim in an interview. “I hope this leads to a renewed conversation to revisit these policies to see if they are a little archaic.”
Schaefer’s trial is scheduled to take place today at a Methodist retreat in Spring City, PA.