SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Appeal in the Defrocking of Frank Schaefer to Be Heard

LINTHICUM, MD--(Marketwired - June 18, 2014) - Frank Schaefer is appealing the outcome of the 2013 trial and conviction by the United Methodist Church (UMC) that found him guilty for officiating his son's wedding to another man, an act whose punishment stripped him of his credentials and lifelong vocation as a minister. Schaefer already served his 30-day suspension after the trial, but would not promise to fully uphold the Church's rulebook that includes banning same-sex marriages. His appeal is part of his vow to never give up the fight on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

WHAT: Hearing before the appeals body, which will decide whether to uphold or overturn Schaefer's sentence and defrocking

WHO: Counsel for Schaefer, Rev. Scott Campbell Members of the Committee on Appeals for the Northeast Jurisdiction, and Opposing counsel

WHEN: Friday, June 20, 2014, 10:30am - Hearing and deliberations

Saturday morning - Anticipated announcement of decision followed by a press conference (the hearing is organized by the UMC, which has issued its own media guidelines)

http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/frank-schaefer-appellate-hearing-june-20

WHERE: The BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Rd., Linthicum, MD 21090

WHY: Frank Schaefer's trial with the UMC captured the attention of civil right's minded people across the nation. His defrocking, and the resulting public outcry, galvanized the growing movement within the UMC that is making progress towards LGBTQ equality within the church. At stake in the outcome of this appeal is Frank Schaefer's livelihood and his vocation in which he trained and served his whole life. The future of the UMC and its relationship to LGBTQ people is also at stake.

The Church has no grounds to punish him on a future condition, Schaefer's counsels say, by coercing him out of a job. Schaefer is still committed to the church and has even rejoined as a lay member. Since January he has spoken at more than 50 events including at the Cathedral of Hope in Texas, the American University and Philadelphia City Council. He has received awards from the Governor of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania State Education Association among others, and has a book coming out this summer. A documentary and theater play are in the works that intend to raise awareness of LGBT issues.

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/6/17/11G017158/Images/Frank_Schafer-1399774354753.jpg

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