Pennsylvania Pastor Convicted of Violating Church Law After Officiating Gay Son’s Wedding

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Schaefer Family, File / AP

This Sept. 2013 photo provided by The Rev. Frank Schaefer shows Schaefer, right, and his son Tim.

A Pennsylvania pastor who officiated his son’s same-sex marriage was convicted of breaking church law on Monday.

United Methodist minister Rev. Frank Schaefer was found to have disobeyed the Methodist Book of Discipline by performing the wedding in 2007. Though the church accepts gay and lesbian members, clergy are banned from officiating same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Schaefer was reportedly a month away from reaching the statute of limitations, and he could have avoided the trial by agreeing to not perform any more same-sex ceremonies. He declined, saying three of his four children are gay.

The minister pleaded not guilty and testified on Monday that he felt he was obeying God’s command to minister to everyone.

“I love the United Methodist Church. I’ve been a minister for almost 20 years and there are so many good things about the United Methodist Church except for that one rule,” he said.

As a result of the conviction, Schaefer could potentially lose his minister’s credentials.

[AP via ABC News]