A retired minister who conducted same-sex marriages during the period they were legal in California will be trialled before a Presbyterian court on Thursday.
Rev Jane Adams Spahr has been accused of violating her denomination’s constitution. The openly gay minister officiated at over a dozen same-sex wedding ceremonies before Proposition 8 was passed.
Spahr was previously tried in the Church’s court in 2006 for officiating at two lesbian weddings. The Presbyterian constitution defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. She was acquitted on a technicality in 2008 – there was debate on the definition of what constituted a marriage in this case.
The Rev Carmen Fowler, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, a conservative organisation that opposes same-sex marriage, told the Los Angeles Times that “what is being tested is the definition of marriage” in the Presbyterian faith.