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04/30/2008

Presbyterians & lesbyterians: Union recognition rules now muddier than ever

by Jeremy Hooper

Logo Small-1Last August, we briefly told you about Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, an out lesbian, being rebuked by the United States Presbyterian Church for presiding over same-sex unions. Well we're happy to announced that yesterday, a church court decided that Spahr didn't actually violate church policy because same-sex marriages aren't a recognized concept within the church.

So wait, why are we saying that we're happy if the church, which doesn't specifically prohibit same-sex unions, used our relationship non-recognition as a basis for reconsideration? Well, they didn't completely. In a somewhat contradictory opinion, the ruling also upheld the right for same-sex couples to have their unions recognized by the church, just not yet in the same way as heteros. More on the mixed bag decision can be found at link:

Presbyterian church court rules on gay unions [SF Chronicle]

And you who what? They're never going to come to a place of reconciliation if they're trying to appease both what is, at its core, right, and what is, at its core, discriminatory. As we all march down the road towards inevitable full equality, the feet-dragging is only going to become tougher and tougher to justify.

For her part, Spahr says she'll continue to Spahr spar with the church's short-sighted marriage recognition views and continue her work with same-sex couples. Meanwhile, an increasingly perturbed Jesus is hoping that all of his various cliques will all get past these silly non-issues and start throwing a little attention his way. So self-centered, that son of God is!

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Your thoughts

Not to be picky, but to perhaps clarify which Presbyterian denomination the Rev. Spahr is part of. The refered to particular bunch of Presbyterians is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). There are several other assorted Presbyterian groups, such as the Presbyterian Church in America, notably the denomination of the late D. James Kennedy, The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a more recent off shoot with a more conservative leaning, The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a group that split of over some doctrinal issue about a century ago. Presbyterians have had division over slavery, women in ministry, biblical innerency, homosexuality, and will probably debate other tings in the future. Here is the link to the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Committee's ruling at the PC-USA web site : http://www.pcusa.org/pcnews/2008/08335.htm
Hope you find this helpful in sorting out the "decent and in order..." Presbyterians.

bob m

Posted by: Bob Miller | Apr 30, 2008 4:04:40 PM

Bob: Not picky at all. Thanks for the information!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 30, 2008 4:12:02 PM

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