The Rev. Frank Schaefer (Pic: Facebook)
The American pastor who was last week suspended for 30 days for officiating his gay son’s wedding in 2007 says he’s unlikely to change his views on the issue, despite the threat of being defrocked.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer told the Huffington Post’s Michelangelo Signorile that his decision to perform the ceremony in the face of the United Methodist Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage was not intended to “make a rebellious statement against the church”.
He added, however, that “I have become an advocate for the LGBT community. I can no longer be a silent supporter.”
Schaefer, who has three gay children, was sentenced to a 30 day suspension after which he will be thrown out of the church if he does not renounce same-sex marriage.
Schaefer said that “I cannot fathom how I would change my mind in that time or in any time” and will, if asked, officiate other same-sex weddings while he remains a pastor.
“To me this is discrimination. It’s not right. So many people have been hurt. Not just my son — my children — but thousands of gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender people have been hurt by the church and by society. It has to stop. We’ve got to realise what we’re doing here with our theology, our doctrine, and really, our hate speech.”
Schaefer said that when his son, Tim, who contemplated suicide when coming out as gay, asked him to officiate his wedding he “was just honoured”.
Tim earlier told AP: “I remember thinking I have two choices: I can ask my dad and know I am putting him in a position … where he would risk his career, or I could not ask my dad and really risk hurting his feelings. I think he would have been devastated if I hadn’t asked him.”