A pastor defrocked for his backing of same-sex marriage has yielded a national outcry from U.S. people today in discussion on the controversial action to strip him of his religious standing. Rev. Frank Schaefer was a Methodist pastor who lost his garb for supporting homosexual rights today. He has been known to have presided over a marriage for his gay son in the past. The 51-year-old clergyman from Pennsylvania openly stated he would not obey the Methodist church law in front of the United Methodist Board of Ordained Ministry this week, a law that prohibits clergymen from presiding over same-sax ceremonies. Guardian LV shares the latest information on this point of contention this Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.
The pastor defrocked of his title also chose to refuse a personal opportunity to give up his credentials voluntarily under the belief that his religious rights come from God, not the Methodist church itself. As stated by the U.M. church on the act of homosexuality and described in the Book of Discipline, Methodist congregations are open to welcoming gays and lesbians as church members, but are against the actual practice of homosexual acts, citing them as “incompatible with Christian teaching.” This same book also disallows pastors and clergyman to preside over a same-sex marriage for this reason.
“The Rev. Schaefer, however has taken the position that the church’s doctrine is discriminatory and wrong. He describes having struggled with his position on this issue but has ultimately reached the conclusion that he can no longer be just a “silent supporter” of LGBT rights. This pastor defrocked for his beliefs has also taken exception with the Book of Discipline for its teachings, claiming that he does not believe it is possible for anyone to uphold it in realistically its entirety. The proud man and father now feels that the only way he can reconcile being a Methodist is to be an active voice for LGBT community within his church.”
The first issue for Schaefer’s backing of gay marriage and gay rights first rose to a head with his role in the Methodist church started in 2007, following him presiding over a wedding — that of his son marrying another man. The marriage occurred in Massachusetts, where the act was recognized legally at that point in the state’s history. The reverend hopes that his case might serve as an example to not only the Methodist church and its members, but for people across the U.S. as well.
“A member of Schaefer’s congregation at the Zion United Methodist Church of Iona reportedly filed the initial complaint against him last April, based on his performance of the marriage ceremony for his son. He was found guilty of violating his pastoral vows by a jury of 13 fellow clergy in November, at which time he was placed on a 30-day suspension. The 30 days was apparently intended to give Schaefer the opportunity to reverse his support of same-sex marriage or be defrocked. He has refused to do so, and as such, was defrocked.”
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