Yale Divinity School professor and former dean Rev. Thomas Ogletree is facing disciplinary charges for performing his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony.
Ogletree, a member of the United Methodist Church, is facing a possible canonical trial for officiating at his son’s wedding, which took place last October at the Yale Club of New York. After the wedding announcement in The New York Times, several conservative Methodist ministers filed a complaint against Ogletree, claiming that he violated the church’s Book of Discipline. The book states that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Ogletree told The New York Times that though his reasons for performing the ceremony were “personal,” the overwhelming public response to his actions has allowed him to leave his mark on an important issue.
In January, Ogletree met with Rev. Randall Paige, pastor of Christ Church in Port Jefferson Station, NY — one of the ministers condemning Ogletree — in an effort to resolve the problem outside the courtroom. Ogletree told The Times that Paige asked him to apologize for his conduct and promise not to perform a same-sex ceremony again, which Ogletree refused to do.
Yale Divinity School Dean Gregory Sterling issued a statement Thursday in support of Ogletree.
“Some have seized upon the gracious response of a father to a son’s request and made an ecclesiastical case out of it,” Sterling said. “Efforts to turn the act of a loving father into an act of ecclesiastical disobedience only make Christianity appear to be loveless.”
A church committee is deciding whether to conduct a trial or dismiss the matter. If the case goes to trial, Ogletree may be stripped of his credentials.