New Mexico same-sex marriage ruling comes amid long wait, national trend
Board members of the church’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference declined to comment after meeting privately with Schaefer on Thursday at their offices in Norristown, outside Philadelphia. But spokesman John Coleman said Schaefer left officials no choice after defying the order of a religious jury to resign. “When asked to surrender his credentials as required by the verdict, he refused to do so,” Coleman said. “Therefore, because of his decision, the board was compelled by the jury’s decision to deem his credentials surrendered.” Schaefer has led a congregation in the town of Lebanon for more than a decade. Earlier this year, a church member filed a complaint over Schaefer performing the 2007 wedding of his gay son in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions are legal.
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Measures to ban same-sex marriage also have failed. Advocacy groups and supporters hailed the decision. “I can’t get past happy, happy, happy at the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision that rules in favor of freedom and equality for everyone to marry the person they love,” Santa Fe Mayor David Coss said in a statement. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Lesbian Rights represented same-sex couples in the Supreme Court case.
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