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Church Rules Against Spahr

Church Rules Against Spahr


The Permanent Judicial Commission of the Napa, Calif.-Redwoods Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church has upheld three of the four charges against the Reverend Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, who performed same-sex marriages during the brief period it was legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry in California in 2008.

The commission found Spahr had "violated her ordination vows" by presiding over the ceremonies. According to the church's prosecutor, pastors can bless gay and lesbian unions but cannot call them marriages.

"This is such a sad moment for the Church," Spahr, who has been a minister for 36 years, said in a statement. "Today, the Church rejected God's amazing hospitality and welcome. It deeply troubles and saddens me."

Interestingly, in its verdict, the church praised Spahr:

"In the reality in which we live today, marriage can be between same gender as well as opposite gender persons, and we, as a church, need to be able to respond to this reality as Dr. Jane Spahr has done with faithfulness and compassion."

Spahr and her legal team are looking into options for appeal.

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