The Rev. Jane Spahr, who conducted the pseudo-weddings of two lesbian couples in 2004 and 2005, has been convicted by a PCUSA church court of violating the denomination’s constitution. According to the AP:
A regional judicial committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) ruled 6-2 that while the Rev. Jane Spahr of San Rafael “acted with conscience and conviction,” her actions were still at odds with the church’s constitution, her defense team said in a statement.
The ruling, which was delivered late Thursday by certified mail to lawyers for Spahr and the church, reverses a lower court’s decision in March 2006 that she acted within her rights as an ordained minister when she married two lesbian couples in 2004 and 2005.
That decision essentially said that the PCUSA constitution could be violated by anyone who thought they had a good reason to do so, so it isn’t surprising that its decision was overturned.
Spahr, 65, who is retiring at the end of this month, was the first minister of her faith to be tried for officiating the weddings of gay couples. She was among a handful of Presbyterian ministers across the country facing disciplinary action for similar offenses.
Spahr’s legal team vowed to appeal.
In other words, they will try to convince a higher court that the PCUSA constitution is optional for gay activists.
“My gut reaction was, ‘Oh no, no,'” Spahr, who came out as a lesbian in 1978, told The Associated press. “It was sadness first. Sadness because I want so much for the church to be a place of welcome, and to take seriously our relationships … I want the church to be that place of hospitality and welcome. Not to tolerate us, but to accept us and love us for who we are.”
Then convince the church that its current rules are wrong, rather than going ahead and doing whatever you want. It never ceases to amaze me how tone-deaf people like Spahr are–they do nothing but harden the opposition in its position and resolve when they act in such a way as to say, “the rules don’t apply to me, because I operate from a higher morality than the rest of you peons.”