A 67-year-old retired minister in San Francisco is facing a courtroom trial for having performed marriage ceremonies for 16 gay couples during the brief period that same-sex marriage was legal in California.
Rev. Jave Spahr has been accused by the Presbyterian church of “publicly, intentionally, and repeatedly violating church doctrine” in a regional church court.
Yes, church court. Not a real court, of course; Rev. Spahr didn’t do anything illegal.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that church courts existed. I didn’t either until now. Actually, I’d find it kind of charming, if the charges weren’t so stupid. I mean, they’ve set up an entire pretend trial, complete with testimony, witnesses (including eleven of the couples married by Rev. Spahr), a judge—the whole shebang. Isn’t that precious?
This isn’t even the only time Rev. Spahr had been to church court; in 2007 she was tried for the same thing, but was later cleared by a church appeals court (adorable!) because the ceremonies “were not real marriages.”
Anyway, good luck to Rev. Spahr, who clearly has enough common sense to know that everyone—including same-sex couples—deserves love and respect. I can’t wait to read about the trial’s pretend sentence!