Yesterday the United Methodist church “convicted” a Pennsylvania minister of performing a same-sex wedding for his son.
A jury of his pastoral peers convicted the Rev. Frank Schaefer on Monday of breaking his vows by officiating at the 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts after a trial that has rekindled debate over the denomination’s policies on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. The jury reconvened Tuesday morning for the penalty phase, at which both sides will present witnesses. Schaefer could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to losing his minister’s credentials. “Obviously I’m very saddened. What we’re hoping for tomorrow is a light sentence,” Schaefer’s son, Tim Schaefer, 29, whose wedding led to the charges, said after the verdict Monday night. Frank Schaefer didn’t deny that he performed his son’s wedding, but said he did it out of love, not a desire to flout church teaching on homosexuality.
The Washington Post notes the the church’s only witness against Schaeffer was a man whose mother, the church’s choir director, has been feuding with Schaefer.