Defrocked pastor looks forward to appeal hearing

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Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked by the United Methodist Church six months ago following a trial for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding, will appear before a church panel on Friday to argue that his punishment was illegal under church law.

“I am anxious and nervous,” Schaefer said Thursday. “I devoted my entire life to the United Methodist Church.”

Schaefer says his appeal is straight forward.

“I was not punished for performing my son’s marriage,” he said. “I was punished for something I didn’t promise, and that is to never again perform another same-sex marriage.”

Schaefer says that is not a punishable offense according to the church’s Book of Discipline.

Schaefer officiated his son’s 2007 marriage in Massachusetts. A church panel in Baltimore will decide whether he is reinstated during a hearing that begins at 10:30 a.m.

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