Though clearly regretful, a local division of the Presbyterian Church USA decided Friday to rebuke a former San Rafael minister who performed wedding ceremonies for at least 16 same-sex couples during the five months in 2008 when it was legal to do so.  More >>
Added on Saturday, August 28

A decision given with regret

It's very important to note the rationale stated by the Permanent Judicial Commission in their decision in the Spahr case.  Essentially, they say Jane Spahr was doing the right thing, even though, tragically, it is still against the rules of the PC(USA).  Here's part of what they said:

The Permanent Judicial Commission, in sustaining the first three charges, recognizes that while the Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr has indeed performed these marriages, which were and continue to be legal marriages, she did so acting with faithful compassion in accord with W7.3004.

These marriages were legal in the State of California, being civil contracts (W4.9001), and are different from same sex ceremonies. The testimonies of those at court clearly demonstrated this difference.

We commend Dr. Spahr and give thanks for her prophetic ministry that for 35 years has extended support to “people who seek the dignity, freedom and respect that they have been denied” (W7.4002c), and has sought to redress “wrongs against individuals, groups, and peoples in the church, in this nation, and in the world” (W7.4002h).

In addition, we call upon the church to reexamine our own fear and ignorance that continues to reject the inclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (G3.0401c)

For the full text of the decision >>