United Methodist Church officials defrocked Thursday the minister who was convicted in a church trial last month of performing the marriage ceremony of his gay son in Hull six years ago.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor of a church in Lebanon, Pa., was forced to surrender his credentials after meeting with the Board of Ordained Ministry for the church’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. In its decision last month, the jury convicted Schaefer for violating church rules prohibiting gay marriage and suspended him for 30 days, saying he should take that time to decide whether he could uphold the church’s rules in the future.
Schaefer decided he could not because he feels church law on homosexuality discriminates against gay people. But he said Thursday that, up until the moment of the decision, he had hoped he could avoid the ultimate punishment.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that,” he said in a phone interview on the way to a press conference. “All kinds of things I told myself: It was an act of love for my son; they’re not going to do this. But they did.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Lisa Wangsness can be reached at email@example.com.