No Church Trial for Methodist Minister — Most Likely
Rev. Thomas Ogletree, the retired United Methodist minister charged by his church with violating church law for officiating a same-sex marriage, will likely not face a trial after all, Religion News Service reported this week.
The 80-year-old Ogletree will pursue a "just resolution," said Bishop Clifton Ives, who had been appointed to manage the trial, now postponed indefinitely.
The trial was to begin next month at a church in Stamford, Conn. According to a New York Times wedding announcement, Ogletree officiated the wedding of his son to another man in 2012.
The former Yale Divinity School dean has said he does not regret his son's wedding.
“I could not with any integrity as a Christian refuse my son’s request to preside at his wedding,” he said in a press release from Methodists in New Directions. “It is a shame that the church is choosing to prosecute me for this act of love, which is entirely in keeping with my ordination vows to ‘seek peace, justice, and freedom for all people’ and with Methodism’s historic commitment to inclusive ministry embodied in its slogan ‘open hearts, open minds, open doors.’”
Rev. Frank Schaefer was stripped of his clergy credentials last year for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. Methodist ministers in New York and the Pacific Northwest are awaiting similar charges, though some bishops are calling for an end to the trials, according to RNS.