The highest court of the Presbyterian Church USA has found that a California minister did not violate the church's constitution when she officiated at the weddings of same-sex couples in 2004 and 2005.
Sounds fine so far...
The decision, announced Tuesday by the church's permanent judicial commission, cleared the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr of San Rafael of misconduct and lifted an earlier ruling of censure against her by a regional church court.
Oh, so the church came to its senses and reversed a punishment against a minister who officiated two gay weddings. Good job.
In the decision, the Louisville, Ky.-based panel found that the ceremonies Spahr had performed for the two lesbian couples could not be considered marriages.
"The ceremonies that are the subject of this case were not marriages . . . ," the high court said. "These were ceremonies between women, not between a man and a woman."
The commission said the lower court had "found Spahr guilty of doing that which by definition cannot be done."
Oh. So they did the right thing, but for incredibly misguided reasons and by disturbingly convoluted logic. The ruling in effect is "you can't be guilty of officiating gay marriages, because we say there is no such thing, so you can't be guilty of doing the impossible, that wouldn't make sense." Wow.