A Methodist pastor who officiated his gay son’s wedding six years ago was found guilty yesterday of two religious crimes by a jury of his peers: “conducting a ceremony that celebrates same-sex unions” and “disobedience to order and discipline of the Methodist Church” according to the Washington Post.
The pastor, Rev. Frank Schaefer who lives in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, will hear his sentence this morning which could be anything from a brief suspension to a revoking of his place as a pastor within the Methodist church.
Schaefer was known within his congregation for liberally interpreted Christian doctrine, though he tried to keep that relatively in check while serving in a conservative rural area. A complaint filed with the Methodist Church by someone who knew him well spurred the investigation and this week’s subsequent conviction. Schaefer’s case is the first of five which could be brought before similar juries as Methodist leaders crack down on what they perceive to be as an aberration of faith.
Three of Schaefer’s four children are gay according to the Washington Post. When Schaefer’s son, Tim, asked him to officiate his wedding in 2006, Schaefer told the Washington Post, “All I saw was love for my son.”