LEBANON, Pa. — A Methodist minister has been reinstated after he was defrocked for officiating his gay son’s wedding.
“I can’t even begin to describe how meaningful this ‘refrocking’ is to me,” said Rev. Frank Schaefer after a church judicial panel announced its decision as the Patriot-News reported. “I never did understand the severity of my punishment for an act of love for my son Tim. The committee of appeals understood that my defrocking sought to penalize me not for what I did but for what I might do in the future.”
A church tribunal last November put Schaefer on trial after it found out he officiated his son’s 2007 wedding in Massachusetts.
Schaefer was suspended for 30 days, but he was defrocked after he refused to say he would not officiate any other same-sex weddings.
“Today’s decision by the committee is a hopeful sign for our LGBTQ community,” said Schaefer as the Patriot-News reported. “They recognized that I was wrongfully punished for standing with those who are discriminated against.”
Schaefer has delivered a number of guest sermons at the Foundry United Methodist Church in D.C. since he was defrocked.