A retired United Methodist Church minister in New York will not be prosecuted for officiating the wedding of his gay son, the church announced Monday (10 March)
Thomas Ogletree, 80, calls presiding over the wedding of his son in October 2012 ‘an act of pastoral faithfulness and fatherly love.’
The wedding announcement appeared in The New York Times leading to a complaint being filed against Ogletree who is is a former dean of the Yale Divinity School.
Ogletree told the Associated Press that he is especially grateful that Bishop Martin McLee said he would no longer hold church trials on this issue in his district which covers 462 churches in New York and Connecticut.
McLee is calling for a similar policy across the entire church which has long been deeply divided over homosexuality and recognition of same-sex relationships.
Reverend Randall C. Paige, pastor of Christ Church in Port Jefferson Station, led a group of Methodist clergy who filed a complaint against Ogletree.
Paige said in a statement: ‘The impact of this settlement today will be that faithful United Methodists who support the church’s teachings will feel ignored and will face their own crisis of conscience, as to whether they can continue to support a church that will not abide by its own rules.’
Another recent United Methodist with similar circumstances ended quite differently.
Reverend Frank Schaefer from Pennsylvania was defrocked in December for officiating his gay son’s wedding.
Schaefer’s story is being told in the documentary An Act of Love which has among its producers NCIS star Pauley Perrette. A Kickstarter campaign is currently underway to fund the project with more than $30,000 0f the $75,000 raised so far.