Presbyterian tribunal dismisses cases protesting lesbian's ordination

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2002

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) court in California has dismissed two cases protesting the clergy ordination of an openly lesbian candidate, Presbyterian News Service reported.

Conservatives complained that Redwoods Presbytery, which covers churches from Marin County to the Oregon line, failed to examine the Rev. Kathleen Morrison properly to see if her views of chastity fit denominational policy against same-sex activity.

The court of a regional synod dismissed the cases, saying there were no specific allegations of sinful behavior.

In a separate but similar Fort Lauderdale, Fla., case involving a lay elder, the Presbyterians' national court ruled in April that complaints of same-sex activity ''must assert factual allegations of how, when, where and under what circumstances'' any wrongful behavior occurred.

Morrison, who now lives with a partner in Cambridge, Mass., is a full-time field organizer for More Light Presbyterians, which advocates full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Presbyterians in church life.

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