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.
Attorney Whit Brisky of Mauck & Baker
represents some of the Presbyterian churches who object to the
"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,"
"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
"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
Brisky further suggests it also conveys the end of the line for
any future litigation on the same issue.