Suspended Pennsylvania minister having news conference; asking b - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Suspended Pennsylvania minister having news conference; asking bishop to end religious trials

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A United Methodist minister punished for officiating at his gay son's wedding is set to talk about his future.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor at Zion Methodist Church in Iona, Pa., is holding a news conference Monday in Philadelphia. He's been ordered to surrender his religious credentials by Thursday if he can't adhere to church doctrine.

The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members but rejects the practice of homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Schaefer is serving a 30-day suspension for leading his son's 2007 wedding in Massachusetts.

On Monday, he'll be joined by a group of Methodist ministers who will discuss a petition being presented to Bishop Peggy Johnson.

It asks her to stop holding religious trials for pastors who perform gay weddings.

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