An investigating committee of the Pittsburgh Presbytery has found Reverend Janet Edwards in violation of the Church’s constitution for performing marriage rites for a same-sex couple. Rev. Edwards now faces a rebuke or loss of her ministry. According to the constitution of the Presbyterian Church, a minister may bless “holy unions,” but marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman.
Edwards, who has been a minister for 29 years, sees her current role as vital to the Church. Says Edwards, “Opening our hearts and our doors to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters is just the next chapter of our centuries-old tradition of reform.”
Another local ruling had the opposite result. In March, Redwoods Presbytery of Northern California found a minister not guilty for marrying two same-sex couples, stating that the unions were not “outside or contrary to the essentials of the Reformed faith.” Both cases may eventually reach the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, the highest court of the Presbyterian Church (USA), for a final decision.