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Presbyterian court reviews lesbian pastor's rebuke
A lesbian minister rebuked by the U.S. Presbyterian Church for blessing the weddings of same-sex couples in California faced the denomination's highest court on Friday for a hearing she hopes will lift her censure.
The ecclesiastical appeal for the Rev. Jane Spahr, 69, caps the latest of her decades-long series of conflicts with church authorities over greater acceptance of homosexuality in Christianity and in the lives of its followers.
The case highlights deep divisions within the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and its 2 million members, as well as other mainline Protestant denominations over gay and lesbian marriage.
Presbyterian ministers and church elders from around the United States assembled on Friday in a San Antonio hotel for the hearing before the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, the church's highest judicial authority.
"I pray for the court, the couples, the families and the church that the decision made will be one of justice and love," Spahr told Reuters after the hearing.