Former Yale Div dean faces charges for performing same-sex wedding

The New York Times reports that the Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree, 79, a Methodist minister and former dean of Yale Divinity School faces a possible canonical trial for officiating at his son’s wedding to another man.

Sharon Otterman writes:

“Sometimes, when what is officially the law is wrong, you try to get the law changed,” Dr. Ogletree, a native of Birmingham, Ala., said in a courtly Southern drawl over a recent lunch at Yale, where he remains an emeritus professor of theological ethics. “But if you can’t, you break it.”

For Dr. Ogletree, the issues are not just academic. He has fully accepted, he said, that two of his five children are gay. His daughter married her partner in Massachusetts, in a non-Methodist ceremony. So when his son asked him last year to officiate at the wedding, he said yes.

“I was inspired,” Dr. Ogletree said. “I actually wasn’t thinking of this as an act of civil disobedience or church disobedience. I was thinking of it as a response to my son.”

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  1. Paige Baker

    If there were EVER a time that people with any shred of human compassion or decency should have turned their heads and left well-enough alone, this was it. I feel sorry for those bringing the charges. Their hearts–and their God–are about three sizes too small.

    And I feel boundless admiration for the Rev. Ogletree and gratitude that his gay son and lesbian daughter have such a father. All LGBT children should be so fortunate.

  2. Clint Davis

    I’m really amazed that the progressive Methodists in this country have not been openly planning a new Connexion. Maybe there’s whispers and muttering behind the scenes, but I haven’t heard anything. Has anyone else?

  3. tgflux

    “But the issue is creating a deep rift with the church’s evangelical, conservative wing, which is being bolstered by the spread of the 12-million-member denomination internationally into Africa and Asia.”

    This was the wish of the “Anglican Church” crowd, for their Anglican Covenant. TBTG that we in TEC avoided this kind of a mess!

    JC Fisher

    @ The Rev. Dr. Ogletree: “The Episopal Church Welcomes You.” Time for the spiritual children of Wesley (in the USA) to come home?

  4. Paul Woodrum

    And I was just reading in the Sunday NY Times about the ‘teleological suspension of the ethical,’ compliments of Soren Kierkegaard who I remember first studying at the Methodist related Ohio Wesleyan University. Good to see Methodist pastor Mr. Ogletree properly applying it.

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