By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times
The Rev. Frank Schaefer, who officiated at his son’s gay marriage, was defrocked Thursday by the United Methodist church after he refused to change his position on gay marriage.
Schaefer, of Lebanon, Pa., was suspended last month for violating church policy on same-sex marriage. A church jury gave him 30 days to change his position or face being defrocked. The Methodist church accepts gay parishioners, but rejects the practice of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
On Thursday, the end of the 30-day period, Schaefer met with the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and said he was unwilling to change his position and refused to voluntarily surrender his ministerial credentials.
“Therefore, because of his decision, the board was compelled by the jury’s decision to deem his credentials surrendered. He no longer holds the ministerial office in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference by virtue of his decision,” according to a statement by Bishop Peggy A. Johnson, head of the conference.