On Tuesday the United Methodist Church suspended a Pennsylvania pastor for performing the wedding ceremony for his gay son. According to the Church, Frank Schaefer broke the laws put forth in the Church's Book of Discipline. Schaefer is suspended from performing pastoral duties for 30 days, however he says he expects to be forced from the Church following his suspension. Church leaders have ordered him to not perform such ceremonies in the future... Scaefer says he will not submit to such a restriction.
"I feel I have to be an advocate, an outspoken advocate for all lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people."
He went on to say that his Church and all religious organizations need to stop judging people based on sexual orientation, and that the hate directed at homosexuals also needs to stop... the Church, his and others, need to stop treating the gay community as second-class citizens.
Some in his community agree with his decision claiming that they are fully in support of his decision to perform the services. Others however are extremely angry with the Schaefer and believe that he should be defrocked.
Time will tell what will happen to Schaefer in terms of his status as a Pastor for the United Methodist Church, but one thing is clear as Schaefer spoke to reporters, "I will never be silent again... this is what I have to do."