On Monday, the United Methodist Church convicted Rev. Frank Schaefer on two counts against the Church for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. On Tuesday, the impaneled jury determined his sentence: Schaefer is suspended for 30 days, and if it at the end of that time he has not renounced his support for marriage equality, he will be defrocked.
Schaefer, however, was unapologetic, refusing the invitation to “repent of your actions”:
SCHAEFER: [The Church] needs to stop judging people based on their sexual orientation. We have to stop the hate speech. We have to stop treating them as second-class Christians. […]
I will never be silent again. This is what I have to do. […]
I have to minister to those who hurt and that’s what I’m doing.
Three of Schaefer’s four children identify as gay.
After his sentence was announced, his supporters began overturning chairs in the courtroom, a reference to the biblical story of Jesus and the moneychangers.
Schaefer’s critics framed his actions as “breaking the rules” and “rebuking” the Church.