Thursday, 28 November 2013

'I will never be silent again'

Jury suspends pro-gay pastor

SPRING CITY, Pa. -- A United Methodist minister from southeastern Pennsylvania who was convicted under church law of officiating his son's same-sex wedding ceremony was suspended for 30 days Tuesday and told he will lose his credentials if he violates any of the church's rules in that time.

The same jury of fellow pastors that convicted Rev. Frank Schaefer on Monday of breaking his vows told him he must surrender his credentials if he can't reconcile his new calling to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community with the laws from the church's Book of Discipline.

Rev. Frank Schaefer and his wife Bridgett outside the hearing in Lebanon, Pa., on Tuesday. Schaefer officiated his gay son's wedding in 2007.Before the punishment ruling, Schaefer, who officiated at his son's 2007 wedding in Massachusetts, told the jury Tuesday he is unrepentant and refused to promise he wouldn't perform more gay unions.

Rather than beg for mercy Tuesday in the trial that has rekindled debate within the nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination over church policies on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the pastor upped the stakes, telling jurors that he has been called by God to be an advocate for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people.

 The church "needs to stop judging people based on their sexual orientation," he said. "We have to stop the hate speech. We have to stop treating them as second-class Christians."

You can read the whole article on the Winnipeg Free Press website by CLICKING HERE.
-submitted Nancy P.


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