Gay Marriage

Defrocked Pastor Who Performed Son's Gay Wedding Reinstated to Methodist Church


Frank Schaefer was defrocked late last year after the United Methodist Church (UMC) found him guilty of disobeying church law. His violation: performing his son's gay wedding in 2007. Schaefer appealed that decision, and on Tuesday a nine-person church panel ruled that his credentials will be reinstated

Schaefer was originally suspended for 30 days but was defrocked after he refused to promise never to officiate a same-sex wedding in the future. The appeals panel concluded that the convicting jury's punishment was illegal under church law: "revoking his credentials cannot be squared with the well-established principle that our clergy can only be punished for what they have been convicted of doing in the past, not for what they may or may not do in the future."

He will get back pay to when his suspension ended in December.

The UMC Book of Discipline, which contains the church's laws and doctrines, forbids celebrations of same-sex marriages and asserts that the practice of homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Reason TV's recent documentary on Schaefer and the controversary of gay marriage within the UMC was first published on May 16, 2014:

NEXT: March on Marriage Fails to Attract a Crowd at the Capitol, Gallup Knows Why

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Frock You That’s Why

  2. I wasted my joke on PM Links.

    1. There’s no such thing as a wasted joke. Everyone should rock the joke.

  3. You know what else is ‘incompatible with Christian teachings’? Wearing fabrics made from linen and wool, leaving your head uncovered or wearing torn clothing, eating pork or shellfish and getting tattoos. Yet these ‘Christians’ only choose to enforce these things when they can discriminate against people they don’t like.

    1. There are things in the new testament about homosexuality as well, unlike those things. Some argue it doesn’t mean what i says, I don’t know or care. Not really my business what a church or it’s members believe.

      1. You know what is banned in the New Testament? Women speaking in church. Again, selective enforcement is the issue.

        1. So, your objection is only to the tiny handful of denominations that simultaneously ordain women and object to gay marriage?

          1. My objection is to people who use religion as a means to legitimize their own prejudices. If you want to be religious, I have no problem with that. If you want to be strictly religious and believe that the bible is literal and shouldn’t change with modern understandings of science and psychology, that’s fine too, but be consistent. Don’t pick and choose based on your own personal biases.

    2. Where is eating pork incompatible with Christian teachings?

      1. In Warfario’s fecund imagination.

    3. I think you are confusing Christian teachings with (Orthodox) Jewish teachings.

      1. Maybe I’m confusing ‘Christian teachings’ with ‘the Bible’?

  4. Leviticus 11:4 “Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.”

    Shellfish as well…

    Leviticus 11:10 “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you.”

    1. Dude, you might have missed the whole New Testament thingie – but we in the UMC haven’t.

      1. And the first thing the New Testament says is you should start by ignoring the Old Testament?

        1. There are laws that are ceremonial laws for jews, and the Sheva Mitzvot B”nei Noach.

      1. I don’t understand your point. When it says, “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.” we currently have Christians trying to forbid people from marrying because it is against ‘Christian teachings’, yet they don’t forbid them from eating certain foods. Again, this simply illustrates that some Christian only actively enforce their rules when they can use them to discriminate against those they don’t like. And obviously it’s not all Christians, Pastor Schaefer proves that.

        1. I was thinking about that last night when I had pork sausage and ground beef under the cheese of my pizza. I was thinking, “This is yummy, maybe my girlfriend and I should serve this when we get married.”

          Otherwise, I don’t see how any proscriptions in the bible…whether they be eating pork, beef under cheese, or being in a gay relationship, should be anything more than a matter of choice under the law.

          I don’t see the purpose of debating religious tenets. It is a private matter of the hearth and temple. My own Goddess is pretty cool with most matters of choice. My belief, my reasons, my choice. My business, my rights.

    2. It’s Baby’s First Exegesis!

  5. It’s OK for guys to wear frocks, though.

  6. The rainbow stole bit for the gay marriages is getting a little old.

  7. It’s not my affair, though I respect both sides for keeping religion out of the courts and in their respective temples. I’m not a Methodist, nor a Christian. I think the minister has acted according to his conscience. As have the Methodists. Personally, I’m in agreement with the minister for performing the minister, but overall it’s a private affair. Freedom of religion, conscience, and speech all worked out. America worked out.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.