Lesbian Pastor Not Guilty in Same Sex Marriage Trial

From www.365gay.com comes this great news …


(Santa Rosa, California) A longtime Presbyterian minister who was the first of her faith to be tried for officiating at the unions of gay couples was acquitted Friday of violating her denomination's position on same-sex marriage.

A regional judicial commission of the Presbyterian Church (USA) ruled 6-1 that the Rev. Jane Spahr of San Rafael acted within her rights as an ordained minister when she married two lesbian couples in 2004 and 2005.

Because the section of the faith's constitution that reserves marriage for a man and a woman “is a definition, not a directive,” Spahr was “acting within her right of conscience in performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples,” the tribunal said in a written ruling.


The tribunal stated that Reverend Spahr acted within the “normative standards” of her region. The ruling may mean that all ordained clergy are permitted to preside at same-sex weddings. Read the full story at http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/03/030306pastor.htm

Spahr was charged with using the term 'wedding' not for actually performing the ceremony. Click here for the backstory
http://www.pghlesbian.com/blog/_archives/2006/3/3/1794706.html


A tearful Spahr, 63, a longtime activist who could have faced sanctions ranging from a rebuke to removal from the ministry, rejoiced at the verdict. Flanked by her lawyers and the two couples she married, Spahr said she would continue performing same-sex weddings.

“The church said God loved everyone, and for years I believed it,” she said. “Today, for just one moment, to hear this is remarkable.”


 

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