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50 Methodist ministers defy church, take part in same-sex marriage

Nov. 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Fifty Methodist clergymen in Philadelphia said they defied their church and helped officiate a same-sex marriage.

Many of the clergymen who participated Saturday were ministers who could lose their credentials for protesting church doctrine, Philly.com reported.

The ceremony served as an act of solidarity for their colleague, the Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, Pa., who will be put on trial by the church by marrying his son and another man.

A spokesman for the church declined to comment on whether the group from Saturday's ceremony at the Arch Street United Methodist Church will face disciplinary action.

Saturday's ceremony wed Bill Gatewood and Rick Taylor, Philly.com said.

"Your church, your pastor, those pastors who have gathered here today, clergy not only who are United Methodists but other faiths as well, say you are not only accepted but you are acceptable in the sight of God," the Rev. Robin Hynicka, the church's pastor, said during the ceremony.

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