An attorney says that In failing to discipline a clergywoman who “married” her lesbian partner, the Presbyterian Church USA is sending a clear message to the denomination.
Laurie McNeil, at that time a pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, married her partner in Massachusetts before an Episcopal priest. Afterwards, charges were filed and reached the denomination’s highest court, which ruled that the facts of the case do not justify disciplinary action.
“The ruling of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission effectively said that there were really no rules for what Presbyterian pastors can do outside of Presbyterian worship,” he details.
“So they’re free to get married in some other church with no repercussions at all,” even though same-sex “marriage” is banned by church law, notes Brisky.
He contends this ruling sends a message to members of the denomination.
“Well, I think this certainly at the very least makes our message garbled and confused,” the attorney offers. “Or at worst, in effect, the denomination now approves of homosexual conduct and same-sex marriages.”
Brisky further suggests it also conveys the end of the line for any future litigation on the same issue.