Presbyterian Court Rebukes Minister for Gay Weddings
August 29, 2010 1 Comment
By Lillian Kwon | Christian Post Reporter
A California minister was rebuked on Friday by a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) court for performing same-sex ceremonies.
In a 4-2 vote by the Redwood Presbytery Judicial Commission, the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr was found guilty of representing the ceremonies as marriages, persistently disobeying church law, and violating her ordination vows.
(Photo: AP Images / The Press Democrat, Christopher Chung)
An anonymous layperson had brought charges against Spahr, a lesbian activist and a Presbyterian minister for 36 years, after she officiated the weddings of 16 same-sex couples during the brief period same-sex marriage was legal in California between June and November 2008.
Notably, the guilty verdict came with a page of praise in the 2 1/2-page ruling.
“We commend Dr. Spahr and give thanks for her prophetic ministry that for 35 years has extended support to ‘people who seek the dignity, freedom and respect that they have been denied,’ and has sought to redress ‘wrongs against individuals, groups, and peoples in the church, in this nation, and in the world,'” the church court stated.
The regional court went further to call on the PC(USA) to “re-examine” its “own fear and ignorance that continues to reject the inclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The six-member panel argued that the PC(USA) constitution contains conflicting and contradictory rules and regulations pertaining to marriage. While the constitution states that marriage “is a gift God has given to all humankind for the wellbeing of the entire human family,” the sentence is followed by “Marriage is a civil contract between a woman and a man,” the panel pointed out. Read more: CPost