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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.