Ruling Pending In Church/Gay Marriage Appeal

by Rick Howlett on April 28, 2008

The top judicial body in the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church USA will issue a ruling Tuesday on whether a California-based minister should be disciplined for performing same-gender marriage ceremonies.

The church’s General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission heard the final appeal of Reverend Janie Spahr Friday in Louisville.

The church contends Spahr is in violation of its constitution, but the minister argues that the church law contains no specific ban on same-sex marriage.

She says there a number of possible outcomes in her case.

“In knowing these people so well, they’re talking about that I would be rebuked might be one of the things that can go. there are several different offenses, so to speak, that they could finally say, but rebuke that they’re going for right now is probably the lightest sentence,” Spahr said.

Spahr, who’s been a Presbyterian minister for 30 years, was charged about four years ago after she performed same-gender marriages in California and New York.

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