The Rev. Jane Adams Spahr was totally out of line when she married 16 gay couples back when California legalized it for 12 seconds. So says the Presbyterian Church, which took Spahr to church court or whatever, concluding she violated the church’s constitution in officiating the unions.
But it wasn’t all wrist slaps for the San Francosc-based Spahr.
But the panel voted unanimously that the Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr’s actions did not disrupt the “peace, unity and purity of the church,” and its two-page decision commended the 68-year-old lesbian minister for her “compassion” and her ministry to gays and lesbians. “In addition, we call upon the church to reexamine our own fear and ignorance that continues to reject the inclusiveness of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the decision said. “We say this believing that we have in our own Book of Order conflicting and even contradictory rules and regulations that are against the gospel.”
And then this happened:
Immediately after the decision was read in the fellowship hall of Covenant Presbyterian Church where the four-day trial was held, Spahr huddled with her defense team and the tearful couples who had testified about their love and commitment. “It has been my greatest honor to have married you,” Spahr told them. “I just love you so much. We know as oppressive systems change, they need people who are as magnificent as you are. We are changing a wrong here, a terrible injustice. We are doing it.”
She’s going to appeal the decision, which according to my loose understanding of church legal procedures means she will appear before Jesus himself to argue her case.