PCUSA minister cleared in gay 'wedding' case

Event not deemed a marriage ceremony
A Presbyterian court in Pittsburgh ruled October 2 that a minister did not violate scripture or church law by performing a union ceremony for two lesbians, since the ceremony was not a marriage under church or state law.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) permits ministers to preside over same-sex unions as long as they are not purported to be marriages.

Janet Edwards of Pittsburgh did not conduct a marriage when she performed the ceremony in 2005 because Pennsylvania and the PCUSA define marriage as a heterosexual union, ruled the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Pittsburgh Presbytery.

“Whatever ceremony the accused presided over,” the nine-member commission said in a unanimous ruling, “it was not, and could not have been, a marriage ceremony.”

The court also said that there is “no evidence” that Edwards presented herself as a Presbyterian minister when she performed the ceremony.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.