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Presbyterians censure SF’s Jane Spahr over gay marriages

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

imageThe Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, who defied the Presbyterian Church USA by performing 16 marriages of gay and lesbian couples, has been censured by the denomination’s highest court. A church tribunal ruled yesterday that the 69-year-old Spahr had violated the church’s constitution. It upheld a lower church court’s rebuke of Spahr, which included a warning that pastors shouldn’t represent the marriage of gay or lesbian couples as Presbyterian marriages. But the LA Times says Spahr isn’t backing down and is pledging to continue performing such marriages. An excerpt:

On Tuesday, Spahr said she would continue to marry gay and lesbian couples regardless of the verdict by the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, the church's version of the U. S. Supreme Court.

"I feel sad for the couples who are going to hear another no" said Spahr, who lives in San Francisco. "I feel sad for the church. My concern is that it will make ministers fearful to do the most loving and right thing."

Add: All of which places the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination in an awkward spot, inasmuch as the church only last spring agreed to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained as ministers.

Noted: There’s background on the Spahr case in a piece I wrote for California Lawyer magazine last July.

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