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Bishop Peggy Johnson
25,000 back petition by United Methodist pastors who want to marry gay couples

in UNITED STATES, 22/11/2013

Over 24,000 people have signed a petition organized by a group of United Methodist pastors who want their church’s leadership to stop penalizing clergy who marry same-sex couples.

Progressive US Christian group Faithful America will present a petition on Thursday of over 24,000 signatures backing United Methodist clergy who want to be able to marry same-sex couples without fear of being disciplined by the church hierarchy or losing their jobs.

The petition campaign was sparked after Lebanon, Pennsylvania United Methodist Reverend Frank Schaefer was suspended for 30 days for officiating his gay son’s 2007 wedding in Massachusetts.

Shaefer’s being hauled before a church tribunal over his role in his son’s wedding also inspired over 30 United Methodist clergy to join together in an act of group civil disobedience by co-officiating the wedding of two men in Philadelphia on 9 November.

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