In another example of homopersecution, the Presbyterian Church is at it again. This time, the Reverend Jane Spahr is facing a trial for conducting wedding for same sex couples in 2004 and 2005. Spahr is a native of Pittsburgh's Northside.
Spahr choose to use the term wedding at the couples' request in order to honor their union and avoid deeming it second class. The Presbyterian church is arguing that this is not a larger debate over the status of gay weddings but merely a determination of whether Spahr violated the Church constitution.
Spahr's attorney disagrees, likening the issue to the ordination of women for which there is a need for larger dialogue.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is among several Protestant denominations embroiled in a bitter debate between liberals and conservatives over what role gays should have in their churches. Under a ruling by the national church's highest court in 2000, Presbyterian churches may bless same-sex unions as long as they do not equate the relationships with marriage.
Ms. Spahr is one of a half-dozen Presbyterian ministers across the nation facing disciplinary action for marrying same-sex couples, although her case is the first to come to trial, Mr. Cahn said. The others include the Rev. Janet Edwards in Pittsburgh.
Click here for the details on situation facing Pittsburgh's Janet Edwards.
It appears that our community must gird for continuous battle on every front in order to secure our civil rights. Gay Christians in particular are under siege and hurrah for heroes like Janet and Jane for standing up on behalf of us all.
I've been noticing more and more references to second class citizenship around gay civil rights issues. The wingnut have done an incredibly good job of setting gay marriage up to foil heterosexual marriage. But when I describe the consequences of second class citizenship, I notice a profound difference in the tenor of the conversation. Separate but equal is not good enough. We've been down that path and continue to experience the fallout even today.
I pray for the members of the Presbyterian church as they struggle through this moral dilemna.