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Expert: Pa. pastor deserves rebuke for gay wedding

November 19, 2013
Associated Press

SPRING CITY, Pa. (AP) — Experts called by the United Methodist Church say a pastor who officiated at his son's same-sex wedding should be punished to deter other clergy from violating church law.

A jury of pastoral peers convicted the Rev. Frank Schaefer of breaking his vows by officiating at the 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts. The jury is hearing testimony in the penalty phase of Schaefer's church trial in Pennsylvania.

The Rev. Paul Stallworth leads a United Methodist task force on sexuality and abortion. He testified Tuesday that church law requires jurors to "openly rebuke" Schaefer so that fellow clergy will think twice before breaking a rule that forbids pastors from conducting same-sex weddings.

Schaefer could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to losing his minister's credentials.

The defense will present its case Tuesday afternoon.



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