United Methodists Try Pa. Pastor Over Gay Marriage - FOX 35 News Orlando

United Methodists Try Pa. Pastor Over Gay Marriage

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CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. -

A United Methodist Pastor is convicted in a church trial for breaking church law for performing a same sex wedding for his son. It's a case gaining national attention tonight.

FOX 29's Dave Kinchen spoke to the pastor and his son in Chester County to tell us what this means.

Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, PA shared emotional moments with members of his congregation after being convicted in a church trial of disobeying faith teachings when he presided over his son's same sex marriage several years ago.

13 fellow clergy members found Schaefer guilty after a full day of testimony.

Dave Kinchen spoke with the son whose marriage was at the center of the controversy.

"Obviously very saddened so what we're hoping for tomorrow is a light sentence," Tim Schaefer said.

Rev. Schaefer says he performed the 2007 Massachusetts ceremony out of love for his son, but church representatives say he violated the Methodist Book of Discipline and may be reprimanded or even defrocked.

The man that filed the complaint was a member of Schafer's congregation.

Meanwhile many church members say this trial is a black eye for their faith.

"It's really shedding a really negative light on the United Methodist Church in secular media that such an act would result in a church trial. It's embarrassing," Tim Schaefer said.

Church Officials say they are working to bridge the divide.

"It's been ongoing concern and a matter for prayer. We are going to keep on discussing and try to deliberate together and come to a better understanding," Michele Bartlow, Spokesperson for the United Methodist Church said.

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