On Monday, the United Methodist Church convicted Reverend Frank Schaefer on two counts of breaking his pastoral vows after he officiated over the marriage of his gay son, Tim.
On Tuesday, the church rendered its verdict: Rev. Schaefer is suspended for 30 days, during which time he must “repent of [his] actions” or be defrocked.
After the verdict was handed down, Schaefer told the jurors that he had no intention of doing so.
The United Methodist Church, he said, “needs to stop judging people based on their sexual orientation. We have to stop the hate speech. We have to stop treating them as second-class Christians.”
Jon Boger, the congregant who brought the initial charges against Schaefer, testified that “Frank Schaefer sat here and openly rebuked the United Methodist Church, its policies, standards and doctrine. He should no longer be in service as a minister of the United Methodist Church, not at Iona, not anywhere else.”
But Schaefer, who took the stand wearing a rainbow stole, remained defiant to the end. When the prosecutor demanded he pledge never again to perform a homosexual union, Schaefer replied, “I cannot. I have to minister to those who hurt and that’s what I’m doing.”