Presbyterian Minister Cited for Performing Same-Sex Marriage Rites
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.
Media Resources: Associated Press 9/13/06, Fenton Press Release
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .