To the editor:
Thank you for printing the Associated Press article about the United Methodist Church taking a Pennsylvania pastor, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, to trial for officiating at his gay son’s wedding.
For 40 years, the United Methodist denomination has discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals for their sexual preferences. The church does not allow pastors to marry same-gender couples, nor does the denomination allow its churches to be used for such marriages. The United Methodist Church is the last major Protestant denomination with such discriminatory legislation.
As a retired United Methodist pastor, I am appalled and disgusted by our denomination’s resistance toward fully opening its doors. I support Rev. Schaefer in his decision to officiate at the wedding of his son. I would do the same thing, if asked. I believe God’s love is available to everyone. I believe Jesus would not condemn Rev. Schaefer, as our denomination has done.
It is time for the church to change these discriminatory laws so that members of the LGBTQ community can be full members of the United Methodist Church, including ordination.
The Rev. James G. Todd
Retired United Methodist pastor