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Defrocked United Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer brings marriage equality message to DC

11:41 PM, Dec 23, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA 9) -- Recently defrocked pastor, Frank Schaefer, brought his message of marriage equality to Northwest Washington, DC over the weekend.

In 2007, he performed his son's same-sex marriage, which goes against the governing laws of the United Methodist Church.

"I was standing in a weird tension between love for my son, family and the love for my church," said Schaefer.

It took 6 years for charges to be brought against him.  

"The trial was gruesome for my family and myself. It was traumatic," said Schaefer. "When I was told I was guilty of breaking the discipline, the church law, I was devastated."

Schaefer was found guilty by his peers and immediately stripped of his credentials as reverend after serving 20 years with the United Methodist Church. While he was rejected from his church, DC's Foundry United Methodist Church has welcomed Schaefer.

Foundry's reverend performs same-sex marriages in the church and believes in marriage equality.

"It's not hard for us because we believe that we are being authentic with the love of Jesus Christ," said Foundry's associate pastor, Rev. Dawn Hand. "It's unfortunate that some people want to take a few scriptures in the Bible and then turn them around. Now our fundamentalist brothers and sisters will say this is the word of God, period. We can say the same thing." 

Schaefer has appealed his decision and some members believe change is coming.

"We're actually calling on our denomination to change the laws that are discriminatory and to include LGBTQ people in the life of the church," said Hand.

A Methodist bishop in California wants Schaefer to join her conference. The bishop said that while she cannot restore Schaefer's credentials, he would have the same rights to minister.

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