Verdict in second Spahr trial due Friday morning

Posted on 26 Aug 2010 at 7:56pm
The Rev. Jane Spahr

UPDATE: Just received word that the moderator of the Permanent Judicial Commission, the Presbyterian Church body trying the Rev. Jane Spahr in church court for performing same-sex weddings, has announced that the commission has reached a verdict. That verdict will be announced at 11 A.M. PST, which is 1 p.m. CST — about an hour from now.

I will post a blog with the results of the trial as soon as I hear.

The Rev. Jane Adams Spahr this week was once again forced to defend in a Presbyterian church court her decision to preside over same-sex weddings.

Spahr was tried and found not guilty of the same offense a few years ago. That time, the church elders serving as the jury said that Spahr couldn’t be convicted on performing a lesbian wedding because it wasn’t a real wedding since it wasn’t legal. This time, though, Spahr is on trial for peforming 16 same-sex weddings during that five-month period in the summer and fall of 2008 when same-sex marriage was legally recognized in California.

Church elders conducting the trial said on Thursday that they would announce their verdict at 9 a.m., PST, on Friday.

Testifying on her own behalf on Wednesday, Spahr, 68, told the court: “This church asks me to be in the closet about my sexual orientation and about my faith. I am a Christian lesbian pastor who marries heterosexual couples and lesbian and gay couples; I cannot lie about either part of me nor would I ask any pastor to do this.”

She could face anything from censure to suspension to being defrocked. Spahr retired from active ministry several years ago.

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