Presbyterian Church Clears Minister in Gay Marriage Case

The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has found that a California minister did not violate denominational law when she officiated at the weddings of two lesbian couples.

The ruling announced Tuesday by the Louisville, Ky.-based court overturns a decision last year by a regional judicial committee that found the Rev. Jane Spahr guilty of misconduct and gave her a rebuke — the lightest possible punishment.

The church's high court found that the ceremonies that Spahr performed were not marriages, so she did not violate the church's constitution.

Presbyterian ministers are allowed to bless same-sex unions as long as the ceremonies don't too closely mimic traditional weddings.