Church board backs Schaefer

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The top governing board of the Methodist Church ruled this week that the Rev. Frank Schaefer can remain a Methodist minister, despite his refusal to commit to not officiating same-sex marriages.

 

The Judicial Council on Monday decided that Schaefer can keep his credentials, which were taken away last year after he declined to pledge that he would never preside over a same-sex union. The issue was raised after a member of his Lebanon church filed a complaint connected to Schaefer’s officiating his gay son’s wedding in 2007.

This summer, a regional council reinstated him, but church leadership appealed. The Judicial Council held a hearing in Tennessee last week before issuing its finding Monday. The ruling was limited to Schaefer’s case and did not include a statement about the church’s opposition to marriage equality. 

Schaefer recently moved to California to minister to a university community in Santa Barbara.