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Church Tries Minister for Gay Marriages


For the second time in less than five years, a retired Presbyterian minister faces prosecution by her church for same-sex marriages that she performed in California, with the new twist that the latest marriages were legal.

According to Santa Rosa's The Press Democrat, the Rev. Jane Spahr of San Francisco married 16 gay and lesbian couples in 2008 during the five-month period that same-sex marriages could legally be performed in California.

Spahr, 67, was acquitted by her church's highest tribunal in 2008 for officiating over same-sex marriages when they were not yet legal in California.

"JoAn Blackstone, who is the prosecutor, said the distinction is immaterial," the Press Democrat reports. "The marriages may well have been legal under state law, she said, but were 'expressly prohibited' by the same ruling that acquitted Spahr in 2008."

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