A United Methodist pastor who was defrocked for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son was reinstated this week. Reverend Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, Pennsylvania was stripped of his credentials last year after he was found guilty by a church court of violating the denomination’s ban on clergy conducting same-sex weddings. This week an appeals panel overturned that ruling, saying the penalty was too severe. The decision has inflamed an already contentious debate in the United Methodist Church over same-sex marriage, with some saying the church could split over the issue.
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