Voice for Equality: Jane Spahr
April 04, 2010
The Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, Janie, as she prefers to be called, describes herself as a lesbian, feminist and Presbyterian minister committed to justice issues for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community, pursuing connections for wholeness with other oppressed communities claiming their freedom.
Janie was ordained a Presbyterian Minister in December 1974 by the Hazelwood Presbyterian ministry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving with mentor and friend, Wanda Graham Harris. She served 1975-1979 as Assistant Pastor of First Presbyterian in San Rafael, California. In 1979-1980, Janie became Executive Director of Oakland Council of Presbyterian Churches in Oakland.
During the past eight years Janie has devoted much of her efforts to developing official regions to educate and advocate for a just and inclusive church, resulting in the creation of eight such regions. In 2002 these eight regional partnerships included five "out" Evangelists: Rev. Cliff Frasier, Presbyterian Welcome (NY); Rev. Don Stroud, TAMFS-Baltimore; Rev. Annie Petker, TAMFS-NCal; Tom Hickock, TAMFS-Chicago, now Eily Marlow and LaDonna Sanders, Field Interns; Mardee Rightmyer, TAMFS-South; and Regional Partnership Coordinator, Lisa Larges. This outreach educational and advocacy ministry is called That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) sponsored by DUPC in Rochester and partnered with Westminister Presbyterian Church in Tiburon, California.
As reported in The Huffington Post in March of 2010:
"A retired Presbyterian minister in Northern California is again facing charges she violated church law when she officiated at the weddings of gay couples.
"The Rev. Jane Spahr was acquitted two years ago of similar charges when the church's Supreme Judicial Council found that she did not violate denominational law because they were not real marriages.
"This time, the marriages of same-sex couples at issue were legal in California. Spahr's lawyer says it's unprecedented that the church is trying to sanction a minister for performing legal marriages.
"The prosecution counters that while the marriages may have been legal under state law, they were 'expressly prohibited' by the church." [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Jane Spahr as a Voice for Equality!