Pastor who wed gay couple is cleared

Janet Edwards

Friday, October 03, 2008 By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A church court of Pittsburgh Presbytery ruled 9-0 that the Rev. Janet Edwards did not violate scripture or the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) when she conducted what she has always said was the marriage of two women in 2005. (See earlier post here.)

Since church and state define marriage as between a man and a woman, she cannot have done what she was accused of, the court ruled yesterday.
One of those who brought the accusations, the Rev. James Yearsley, attended the trial but flew back to Tampa, where he has since become a pastor, before the verdict. Before leaving, he said an acquittal would signal collapse
of church discipline. But he said he would not push for an appeal or leave the

"This is the church I was called to serve," he said. "I'm a Presbyterian and I'm going to stay and contend for what I think the church should be."

The Rev. Bob Anderson, interim pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery,
said he knew some local Presbyterians would be disappointed in the verdict.

"It's a very sensitive issue. We in the presbytery offices are very sensitive to those concerns and we will keep this as a matter of prayer as we go into the future," he said.

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