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Trial set for minister who performed gay weddings

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press

spahr SAN FRANCISCO -- A retired Presbyterian minister is facing a church trial for performing weddings of gay couples during the brief period when same-sex marriage was legal in California.

The Rev. Jane Spahr has been accused of publicly, intentionally and repeatedly violating church doctrine when she presided at the weddings of 16 couples between June and November of 2008.

Eleven of the couples are expected to testify as witnesses at the trial scheduled to start Tuesday at the Presbytery of the Redwoods in Napa.

It's the second time the 67-year-old Spahr has faced sanctions from the Presbyterian Church (USA).

A regional church court convicted her in 2007 for marrying two lesbian couples. But the church's top court later acquitted her, saying the ceremonies were not real marriages.

Caption - In this April 28, 2008 file photo, Reverend Jane Spahr gestures during a news conference at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon, Calif. Spahr will go on trial this week for officiating the weddings of same sex couples during the brief period when gay marriage was legal in California. Ben Margot, file / AP Photo


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