US: Church drops case against pastor who officiated at gay son’s wedding

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A US church has dropped a case against a NYC pastor who was accused of going against its teachings by officiating at his gay son’s wedding.

The United Methodist Church made the announcement on Monday that it would drop the case against Reverend Thomas Ogletree, in the fear that the case against him would cause “harmful polarisation” over the church’s stance on same-sex unions.

In a statement, the leader of the church’s New York Annual Conference, Bishop Martin McLee, said: “Church trials produce no winners.

He went on to say that they “result in harmful polarization and continue the harm brought upon our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.”

Currently the Methodist church welcomes gay and lesbian people, but maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teachings.” It also maintains that same-sex marriages must not be performed in its churches, or by its ordained ministers.

Ogletree had said previously that he felt he could not say no to his son, who asked him to officiate at his wedding. He performed the wedding in New York in 2012, before a fellow Methodist clergy member noticed a wedding announcement and filed a complaint.

The church has around 12.5 million members worldwide, and is the second largest Protestant denomination in the US.