By Ileana Diaz
LEBANON, Pa., (CBS) — A pastor suspended for officiating at his son’s same-sex marriage is speaking one-on-one with CBS 3.
Methodist church officials say Frank Schaefer broke church rules.
After being found guilty of violating church law, Pastor Frank Schaefer is now suspended from his church for 30 days and tells CBS 3 it was an emotional two days of trial.
“I lost it. I broke out in tears and I felt arms around me of people consoling me,” he said.
Pastor Schaefer was put on trial after he officiated his son’s same-sex wedding. This is a photo from that day, and looking back, Schaefer says he wouldn’t change a thing.
“There were moments that were very emotional, but good emotional, they were almost healing moments, we got to share our story, our pain,” he said.
But the pain isn’t over yet. In 30 days, Pastor Schaefer will have to make a tough decision and the jurors made themselves clear.
“If you can after 30 days say yes I can uphold the covenant, and at the same time, follow my convictions, then so be it, if not surrender your credentials,” he said.
But with three of his four children being gay, Pastor Schaefer says the answer isn’t so simple.
“I advocated for LGBT people and that’s who I am now and that’s not going to change,” he said.
But what he’s hoping will change is the view of the United Methodist Church and its strict rule that currently denies accepting or officiating same-sex marriages.
“We need to as a church sit down and reopen the discussion and find ways to address this and hopefully it’ll be changed down the road,” he said.
Pastor Schaefer is hoping for some kind of compromise, but is also looking at other options like leaving the denomination all together or transferring to New England or California where those churches are more accepting of the gay community.