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United Methodist minister won't quit voluntarily over same-sex wedding

By Kathy Matheson

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 16 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

The Rev. Herb Snyder, at podium, holds up a letter of support for the Rev. Frank Schaefer, center right, a United Methodist clergyman convicted of breaking church law for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding, during a news conference, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. Schaefer plans to defy a church order to surrender his credentials for performing a same-sex wedding.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A United Methodist minister in Pennsylvania plans to defy a church order to surrender his credentials for performing a same-sex wedding.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer said Monday that he cannot uphold the church's Book of Discipline because he finds it discriminatory. The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members but rejects the practice of homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Schaefer says he doesn't know what will happen next. He's scheduled to meet with church officials Thursday about his future, following his conviction in a church trial last month.

Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson acknowledges the denomination is in turmoil over the issue. She says the church uses contradictory language about sexual orientation.

Schaefer is serving a 30-day suspension from his church for leading his son's same-sex wedding in Massachusetts.

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