Gay Marriage | Methodist Church | New York | News

Methodists Drop Case Against NY Minister Who Officiated Gay Son's Marriage: VIDEO


The United Methodist Church will not pursue a case against a retired minister who officiated his gay son's wedding, a Bishop in the church announced at a news conference yesterday at which he also called on the church to drop similar cases, the AP reports:

McleeThe Rev. Thomas Ogletree, 80, a former dean of the Yale Divinity School, said he's grateful his church had decided not to put him on trial for what he called "an act of pastoral faithfulness and fatherly love."

"There's no talk of guilt or wrongdoing or any penalty. It's just the case goes away, which is a vindication for Tom," Ogletree's spokesperson Dorothy Benz told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

Bishop Martin McLee, who made the announcement at a news conference, called on church officials to stop prosecuting other pastors for marrying same-sex couples. McLee, who leads the church's New York district, said he would cease trials over the issue in his area and would organize a broad discussion about divisions among Methodists over gay relationships.

Ogletree married his son on October 20 at the Yale Club in NYC. The charges against him were announced in January.

Watch clips from the press conference with McLee and Ogletree, AFTER THE JUMP...

Rev. Dr. Randy Paige, Senior Pastor, Christ Church United Methodist Church in Port Jefferson Station, New York, who was one of two clergy who filed charges against Ogletree for performing the wedding, released a statement after the case was dropped.

PaigeHe's very angry:


[Rev. Roy E. Jacobsen, Retired, one of the complainants in this case, is away from email and phone and could not be reached this afternoon. I am issuing the following statement because it is important to report the perspective of the complainants. I am confident I have Rev. Jacobsen’s trust in expressing our mutual response. ]

10 March, 2014

As one of the complainants in the case of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree, I am dismayed by the settlement announced today in averting a trial for Dr. Ogletree’s violation of the Book of Discipline in performing a same-sex ceremony for his son.

The settlement agreed to is not, in our minds, a “just resolution” of our complaint. It makes no acknowledgement of the breaking of our clergy covenant, the clear teaching of Scripture, and our agreed upon way of discipleship expressed in our Book of Discipline. There are no consequences for such violation. It fails to recognize the harm done to our church members, who are seeking to live faithfully by teachings of the church for the last 2,000 years. And it fails to prevent further breaking of our covenant by other clergy in our annual conference.

I am disturbed that this settlement appears to represent a determination on the part of the New York Annual Conference leaders that they will no longer enforce or uphold the Discipline on this matter. While dialog and deep listening are good, they are no substitute for living up to the vows of obedience we took as United Methodist clergy, even when we disagree with the provisions we are asked to obey. Bishop McLee’s commitment to have no more trials for those accused of performing same-sex services means that numerous complaints that are in process will be held in abeyance, and further complaints will be discouraged.

The impact of this settlement today will be that faithful United Methodists who support the church’s teachings will feel ignored and will face their own crisis of conscience, as to whether they can continue to support a church that will not abide by its own rules. In addition, clergy in the New York Annual Conference and other like-minded annual conferences, are now given a green light to disobey the Discipline and perform same-sex services at will, without any consequences. Far from avoiding schism, today’s settlement increases the probability that schism will take place. For all these reasons, I cannot support this settlement.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. If only he (Paige) was as passionate about bringing the pedophilic priests to Church justice......

    Posted by: Chrislam | Mar 11, 2014 7:55:56 AM

  2. Good God, Methodist complainants, get over yourselves. No wonder young people are abandoning church attendance based, in part, on homophobic positions like yours. For the love of Christ, act like a compassionate Christian. Or is that too much to ask?

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Mar 11, 2014 8:37:24 AM

  3. @HadenoughBS - "For the love of Christ, act like a compassionate Christian. Or is that too much to ask?"

    The answer is self evident.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Mar 11, 2014 9:13:45 AM

  4. The complainant-whiner claims the methodist church is 2,000 years old? And there is "clear teaching of scripture"? Ummm, no.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Mar 11, 2014 9:20:19 AM

  5. That jumped out at me too. This guy apparently thinks his United Methodist denomination has existed for 2,000 years. Of course he believes his church is the original one and that the teaching of scripture has remained fixed for thousands of years. What a hoot.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Mar 11, 2014 10:11:35 AM

  6. Mr. Paige: Your. Time. Is. Almost. Up.

    Posted by: plinx | Mar 11, 2014 10:17:14 AM

  7. Methodists make Roman Catholics look sane....

    Posted by: styler | Mar 11, 2014 10:27:17 AM

  8. I don't understand why people join churches knowing their rules; stick around; and then are just shocked when the church enforces the rules. It's like a white guy joining the KKK and he then decides to marry a Jewish black woman would be surprised his fellow Klan members might get upset.

    Posted by: Martin | Mar 11, 2014 11:01:41 AM

  9. Martin...

    The church didn't enforce it's rule, it has dropped it's case, did you miss that?

    Posted by: lk | Mar 11, 2014 11:27:44 AM

  10. The New York Annual Conference has LONG more or less voted against the UMC's official positions on homosexuality. Plinx...I disagree. Guys like this still have power. The UMC church as a whole is still anti-gay and there is no indication of that changing. Very happy for Thomas Ogletree. Marrying your son should never be cause for offense in any degree, in any situation.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2014 11:28:29 AM

  11. Thank God I'm an Atheist.

    Posted by: Chadd | Mar 11, 2014 12:21:25 PM

  12. "the clear teaching of Scripture"
    "for the last 2,000 years"

    These Christians are notoriously bad at math. The Methodists date back no further than the 1700s. That's when things became "clear" to them. No sooner.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 11, 2014 12:58:58 PM

  13. So we can rest assured then that when the Methodist Church soon changes the Book of Discipline to include gay weddings then Rev. Jacobsen and the rest will immediate "obey" and begin performing same-sex marriages?

    Yeah, right? Watch how quickly their tune changes!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 11, 2014 3:57:37 PM

  14. Dear Good Rev. Dr. Randy Paige,

    Suck on it.

    Posted by: ajax28 | Mar 11, 2014 5:18:49 PM

Post a comment


« «20 Strangers Asked to Kiss for the First Time: VIDEO« «