Pastor wins same-sex rites case on appeal

Conflicting interpretations of the Book of Order
A Cincinnati minister has won a reversal of a 2003 Presbyterian church-court conviction for performing same-sex marriage ceremonies at a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of the Covenant made the 6-4 ruling April 30 in the case of Stephen A. Van Kuiken, reported Presbyterian News Service. The commission found that the record in the minister’s case “does not support a finding of guilt by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” It ruled that the lower, presbytery court was mistaken when it interpreted a provision of the denomination’s Book of Order as an absolute prohibition of same-sex marriage ceremonies.


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