Pastor Who Performed Gay Marriage for Son Awaits His Fate

Update: The United Methodists’ Board of Ordained Ministry announced Thursday morning that it has decided to officially defrock Rev. Schaefer, removing him from his church and ministry.

A pastor who defied his church and performed a marriage ceremony for his son to his same sex partner has refused to step down from his post, despite the demands of his denomination’s leaders. Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist pastor, has stated that he will not give up his ministry in Pennsylvania, even as he continues to serve a 30 day suspension for the wedding he performed back in 2007.

“I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a voice now for many — for tens of thousands — of LGBT members in our church,” he said in a press conference, according to ABC News.

Rev. Schaefer was suspended after a trial at the hands of fellow United Methodist pastors in mid-November. During the trial, Rev. Schaefer testified while wearing a rainbow colored stole to reaffirm his commitment to equal rights for the LGBT community, and sympathizers “began overturning chairs in the courtroom — symbolizing the biblical story of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers” after he was found guilty.

Despite the publicity surrounding the trial, Rev. Schaefer said that originally, his intention wasn’t to make a statement about equal rights despite a person’s sexual orientation, but simply to be able to perform the ceremony for his son. However, now that the issue has turned into one of equal rights for all couples, either gay or straight, he feels that it has become a matter of principle to refuse the church’s commands. “I have to minister to those who hurt and that’s what I’m doing,” Rev. Schaefer said during his trial testimony. Once told he must “repent” and pledge “never again to perform a homosexual union,” the pastor simply replied, “I cannot.”

During his trial, however, opponents made it clear that they felt that Rev. Schaefer had to be punished regardless of the reason he initially officiated the ceremony, out of fear that condoning the act would embolden other pastors to also act in defiance of church doctrine. “He should be openly rebuked in a manner that would deter other clergy from doing what he did,” testified Rev. Paul Stallsworth, who believed that “the punishment should be determined for the good of all, including not just Schaefer, but for the instructional good of other clergy, the order of the church and the sustenance of all the members of the church.”

Support for Rev. Schaefer has gone far beyond just the United Methodist ministries. A “Stand with Frank“ Facebook page has garnered over 16,000 likes. It frequently posts news of other churches calling out for the clergy to stop its persecution of Rev. Schaefer and of other ministers who are officiating weddings for gay couples legally getting married.

Now, with Rev. Schaefer openly defying the edict to condemn the marriage he performed, or to vow not to perform another, as well as his announcement that he will not voluntarily leave the church, the United Methodist leaders are left with no choice but to decide whether or not they will defrock him. Rev. Schaefer will learn this Thursday whether or not he can continue with his current church in Pennsylvania. Otherwise, he said he will consider starting over with a different denomination.

If that happens and he is forced to go to a new faith, expect the United Methodists to have accomplished exactly what they hoped to do by putting him on trial in the first place: make other pastors too afraid to perform same sex unions out of fear of losing their own appointments. In exchange, however, they will be sacrificing the one thing that every church needs to truly care for their flocks: compassion.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim V1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Pamela W.
Pamela W4 years ago

Leigh E .......... 3:34PM PST on Dec 23, 2013
"I just don't get it. How is it possible for a church to allow for homosexuality?" .....

Rather than answer your question (above) and get a whole load of misinterpreted quotes thrown back, trying to show that God disapproves of homosexuality, (which He does NOT), I would rather ask you another question - totally unrelated to homosexuality .....

How is it possible for a church to allow for paedophilia ?? Furthermore, not just ALLOW it, but actually CONDONE the PARTICIPATION in it by their own clergy ??

Rainbow W.
.4 years ago

I hope you wake up before the realization you blew the only life you will ever get.

Rainbow W.
.4 years ago

“I think you know why Ron doesn't explain things so people understand.”

Yes we do. Because he doesn’t have the answers and neither do you; that’s why you keep thumping that majik book. It doesn’t take a thesis to explain your position; and besides Ronnie boy has pretty well explained his nonsense time and again. He basically believes all the archaic drivel you do. You two are a perfect example of the sickness and stupidity of religion. You cloak your intentions behind pretty phrases, intending only to subjugate and oppress [possibly to harm].

And yes there is a direct link between religious fanaticism and mental illness. Read some of these fascinating studies. []” Religion (including both spirituality and religiousness) is salient in the lives of many people suffering from schizophrenia.” []” It is concluded that religious delusions are commonly found in schizophrenia and that by comparison with other patients who have schizophrenia, those patients with religious delusions appear to be more severely ill.”

“I pray for you that one day you may find the way before it's too late.”
Another one that doesn’t get it and doesn’t answer questions. I always loved how believers treated this life as a waiting room for the ‘next life’. That may be why they have little care and regard for those around them. I h

Leigh EVERETT4 years ago

and again in

Matthew 10:22 "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

and in various other places.

All this (and more) that was predicted thousands of years ago and still people have a hard time believing. I pray for you that one day you may find the way before it's too late.

God bless and thank you Jesus for your sacrifice for me and for all mankind.

Leigh EVERETT4 years ago

I just don't get it. How is it possible for a church to allow for homosexuality? So many people say that churches should come into the 21st century but to do that and accept all the sinful things that we do would be to deny God's truth as described in The Bible. Fundamental truths aren't negotiable with God. If He says no, it's NO and it makes no difference if the entire universe thinks it's OK, it's still not OK.

Lynn S.
Jesus did indeed teach us to 'Love thy neighbour' but he was not talking about having sex with him and certainly not homosexual sex. Jesus did not teach that homosexuality was OK so your statement to me is strange.

Suba G.
I think you know why Ron doesn't explain things so people understand. For one, it is extremely difficult to explain The Bible in a few paragraphs on the Care2 website. And two, it is impossible to explain things to atheists who do not want to understand or see the truth as it is written.

As you have probably seen any attempts to explain anything are either laughed at, treated as old fashioned ideas, I even saw references to psych wards and schizophrenic paranoid.

This too, in fact, was taught by Jesus in

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

and again in

Matthew 10:22 "You will be ha

Rainbow W.
.4 years ago

Indeed; “atheist religion” is an oxymoron. Speaking of morons:

“That's why Christ came at Christmas time .”
Ronnie boy December 25th isn’t christ’s birthday. If this person existed he was probably born in the spring [presents of shepherds]. The date was set to coincide with existing pagan festivals honoring Saturn (the Roman god of agriculture) and Mithra (the Persian god of light). That way, it became easier to convince Rome’s pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion. Many churches recognize it on different days. Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on about January 7th.

“It certainly was one of the greatest time in all human history and not the time to be foccusing on atheistic non-ideals.”
Yes, what a great time. It created a religion that raped, killed and pillaged its way across the earth [not that other religions aren’t guilty of the same crap]. But Christian’s brought a particular brand of hatred, prejudice and cruelty. If your jesus preached love I would say you all failed miserably. And if he were alive today he would probably sue the lot of you for defamation.

Peace on earth indeed.

Rose Becke4 years ago

Ron go away

John S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Just wondering, when you say "Facebook page has garnered over 16,000 likes" what does that mean because how many potential people could have "likes."

Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance4 years ago

Stand your ground Rev Frank Schaefer! Your ministry of inclusion, compassion and love is so needed in this world.

The United Church of Canada has been ordaining gays for years. Our current Moderator is gay and married.

There are too many so called Christian churches that do not practice the basic tenets of the Christian faith as taught by Jesus: love thy neighbour!