Pa. pastor facing church trial over gay marriage

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Associated Press

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 17 at 10:36 AM

A Pennsylvania pastor charged under United Methodist law with officiating his son's same-sex marriage is scheduled to go on trial Monday.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer could be defrocked if a jury comprised of fellow Methodist clergy convicts him of breaking his pastoral vows by officiating the 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts.

The nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination accepts gay and lesbian members, but rejects the practice of homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching."

The issue has split the church. Hundreds of Methodist ministers have publicly rejected church doctrine on homosexuality, and some of them face discipline for presiding over same-sex unions.

Schaefer's trial will take place at a Methodist retreat in Spring City, Pa.

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