Officiating his son’s same-sex wedding was the most significant act he performed as a pastor, and now he will possibly have to justify that action to a jury of his peers. Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree, a United Methodist clergyperson, former seminary dean, and distinguished Christian ethicist, awaits charges by the New York Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) for presiding over his son’s wedding. Bishop Martin McLee referred the case to counsel, an action expected to lead to a church trial.
Ogletree, formerly the dean of Yale Divinity School and Drew Theological Seminary, performed the wedding, knowing that The UMC bans such ceremonies. He believes the ban is morally indefensible. “As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us, ‘One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.’ Marrying Tom and Nick was for me a profoundly personal and quintessentially pastoral act,” said Ogletree. “I have been deeply moved by their exceptional bond, and their strong commitment to a more just and inclusive society. It is high time for The United Methodist Church to honor such bonds and to take strong and diligent steps to overcome persisting prejudices.”
To show your support for Ogletree and marriage equality, consider joining Reconciling Ministries Network’s mailing list or sign on to the Altar For All. Also, tweet your support with the hashtag #UMConTrial