US: Pastor put on ‘trial’ for officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony

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A pastor in the US state of Pennsylvania has been put on “trial”, by his congregation after officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son.

Frank Schaefer, a pastor of the Zion United Methodist Church, said in an interview on Monday with the Patriot News that he felt he was following Christian principles, when he agreed to help his son and his partner marry, back in 2007.

“We just love him so much it was an honour to be asked. Had I said no to him, it would have negated all the affirmations we gave him for all those year…that we believe you are just as worthy and precious in God’s sight as anybody else,” he said.

Schaefer may face disciplinary action, or may be defrocked for officiating at the wedding.

“To me this is a human rights issue,” he continued. “If being of a certain sexual orientation is who you are as a person, if that is genetic, who are we to say that these persons do not have the same rights as everybody else.”

“I’m supposed to minister to everybody,” he added. “That I feel is my call.”

A county clerk D Bruce Hanes, who had issued hundreds of marriage licences to same-sex couples in the state, has said he will appeal against a decision to block him from issuing marriage licences.

Another pastor in the state was last week sacked by his congregation after conducting a same-sex wedding.


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