Presbyterian high court clears pastor of censure for same-sex weddings

As long as they’re not called marriages
Because the blessings of two lesbian couples were called “unions” or “weddings,” not “marriages,” the highest court in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has reversed a lower court’s censure of lesbian clergywoman Jane Spahr, who performed the rites in California.

“It is not improper for ministers of the Word and Sacrament to perform same-sex ceremonies,” ruled the Presbyterians’ Permanent Judicial Commission in a decision released April 28. “At least four times, the larger church has rejected overtures that would prohibit blessing the unions of same-sex couples.”

The case hinged on language in the church’s Book of Order, which defines marriage as “between a woman and a man.”


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