US: Pennsylvania church attempts to block reinstatement of pastor who officiated gay son’s wedding

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A Methodist pastor who was defrocked after officiating at his gay son’s wedding could have his reinstatement blocked by the church.

52-year-old Pennsylvania pastor Frank Schaefer was put on “trial” by his congregation after officiating at his son’s wedding in November, and was found guilty of violating church law.

After gaining international attention for his campaign to keep his job as a United Methodist Church Minister, Schaefer began an appeal in Baltimore, and last month a nine-person panel reversed the lower church court decision.

However, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference is now attempting to block the ruling reinstating him, and has itself appealed to the Methodist church’s Judicial Council.

Schaefer has already left his Pennsylvania church, and has been appointed to an administrative post in Santa Barbara, California.

He said: “I sincerely hope and pray that the council members will keep our church’s diversity in mind, especially our LGBTQ community and their relatives and friends, as they deliberate.

“I pray for a positive outcome which would signal a change toward healing the wounds of homophobia.”

Last week, it emerged that United Methodist minister Reverend Charles Moore set himself on fire to protest against racism and homophobia.

His suicide was believed to refer to the peaceful protests used by Tibetan monks opposed to Chinese rule.