Defrocked, by Franklyn Schaefer with Sherri Wood Emmons

Schaefer’s story of being tried and defrocked by the United Methodist Church for having performed his gay son’s marriage received wide coverage. Stories of conflict are never as simple as they’re conveyed, and this is true here. Schaefer’s church in Pennsyl­vania was growing. A contemporary worship ser­vice was added to its traditional service and began to attract more worshipers than the traditional service. Congregants knew Schaefer had a gay son, and this led to the development of a “concern group.” Then the son of a disaffected chancel choir director pursued the case to prosecute Schaefer for disobeying church law. Al­though the accusation set in motion a chain of events that altered Schaefer’s life, he never regretted his actions. (Schaefer has recently been reinstated through an appeal process.)