Lesbian Minister at Center of Presbyterian Dialogue about Marriage Equality
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The highest court of the U.S. Presbyterian Church will convene in Texas on Friday to consider whether a lesbian minister violated ecclesiastical law when she blessed the weddings of same-sex couples in California.
The case surrounding the Rev. Jane Spahr, a 69-year-old grandmother, highlights deep divisions within the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and its 2 million members, as well as other mainline Protestant denominations over gay and lesbian marriage.
Spahr, who has battled for greater acceptance of homosexuality in the life of the Kentucky-based church for decades, was the first openly gay Presbyterian pastor asked to preside over a local ministry, though she was barred from accepting the post because of her sexual orientation.