Former United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer listens during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia. United Methodist church officials have defrocked Schaefer, who officiated his son's gay wedding in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)The Associated Press
Accompanied by his wife Brigitte, right, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, of Lebanon, Pa., departs after a meeting with officials at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, in Norristown, Pa. Church officials have defrocked Schaefer, who officiated his son's gay wedding in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – A United Methodist pastor who was defrocked for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding is appealing the decision.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Pennsylvania said Thursday he was shocked that he was punished for showing love for his son. He says he believes the penalty was meted out reluctantly by members of the church's regional board.
Earlier this year, a member of Schaefer's church filed a complaint over Schaefer performing the 2007 wedding in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions are legal.
Last month, a church jury suspended him for 30 days, telling him to decide whether he would uphold the church's Book of Discipline or resign. Schaefer refused to surrender his credentials.
The church accepts gay and lesbian members, but it rejects homosexual acts and bars clergy from performing same-sex unions.