United Methodist Church Says No More Trials For Pro-Marriage Equality Pastors
The United Methodist Church has announced that it will no longer prosecute Methodist pastors for LGBT support. The church is dropping its case Rev. Thomas Ogletree, who was scheduled to be tried by the church on March 10 after officiating his son's same-sex wedding.
You may remember a similar case against Rev. Frank Schaefer, who also performed a same-sex wedding for his son in 2007.
The new announcement asserts that these kinds of trials will no longer occur.
At a joint press conference today, United Methodist Bishop Martin McLee and Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree announced that the church was dropping the case against Dr. Ogletree for officiating at his son’s wedding. In a huge victory for the Methodist movement that is organizing ministry to all couples on an equal basis in open defiance of church law, the bishop dropped the case without any conditions.
Furthermore, Bishop McLee said in his statement “I call for and commit to cessation of trials,” the first time ever a sitting United Methodist bishop has categorically declared he will not prosecute pastors for ministering to LGBTQ people.
“I am grateful that Bishop McLee has withdrawn this case and the church is no longer prosecuting me for an act of pastoral faithfulness and fatherly love,” said Dr. Ogletree. “But I am even more grateful that he is vowing not to prosecute others who have been likewise faithful in ministry to LGBTQ people. May our bishop’s commitment to cease such prosecutions be the beginning of the end of the United Methodist Church’s misguided era of discriminating against LGBTQ people.”
This is a substantial victory within the Methodist church and definitely a move in the right direction towards equality!