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Redwoods Presbytery Files Appeal of Spahr's Acquittal

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  • umcornet
    Redwoods Presbytery files appeal of Spahr s same-sex-marriage acquittal: Case goes next to the PJC of the Synod of the Pacific by Jerry L. Van Marter PCUSA
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31 4:38 PM
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      Redwoods Presbytery files appeal of Spahr's same-sex-marriage
      acquittal: Case goes next to the PJC of the Synod of the Pacific
      by Jerry L. Van Marter
      PCUSA News Service
      March 31, 2006

      LOUISVILLE - Redwoods Presbytery has announced that it will appeal the
      March 2 acquittal by its Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) of the
      Rev. Jane Adams Spahr on charges that she violated the Presbyterian
      Church (U.S.A.)'s ban on performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.

      Redwoods' stated clerk, the Rev. Robert Conover, said
      notification of the appeal has been sent "to all the parties."

      The Redwoods PJC acquitted Spahr by a 6-1 vote, ruling that
      the PC(USA) constitution says that same-sex marriage ceremonies are
      "improper" but not "forbidden."

      The General Assembly PJC has ruled that same-sex union
      ceremonies are not prohibited as long as they are not purported to be
      or confused with marriage ceremonies.

      Spahr, an openly lesbian minister who directs "That All May
      Freely Serve," an organization that advocates for full inclusion of
      gays and lesbians in the life of the PC(USA), including as ordained
      officers, told the Redwoods church court that she has performed
      hundreds of same-sex weddings since she was ordained in 1974. The
      PC(USA) did not prohibit the ordination of non-celibate gays and
      lesbians until 1978.

      Sara Taylor, one of Spahr's two defense attorneys, told the
      Bay Area Reporter that she welcomes the appeal. "I think that the
      presbytery is appealing it in good faith," she said. "They know it's
      an issue that the entire church is facing, and they want it to be
      resolved at the highest court."

      The appeal will be heard by the PJC of the Synod of the
      Pacific, and seems likely to be headed to the General Assembly PJC,
      the highest court in the denomination.
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