Trial Starts for Gay Ally Pastor

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com August 25 2010 5:45 PM ET

Prosecutors argued Tuesday that the Reverend Jane Spahr violated
Presbyterian Church law when she performed same-sex wedding ceremonies
during the short period that gay and lesbian couples could marry in
California.

Opening statements in Spahr's trial were offered Tuesday in Napa, Calif. Church officials have accused Spahr of violating church law for officiating the 2008 weddings, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutor JoAn Blackstone told the six-member church commission that Spahr violated the church's code of conduct, which states that pastors can bless gay and lesbian unions but cannot call them marriages. However, Spahr's attorney says the minister acted correctly because the marriages were legal at the time she performed them.