Progress in the battle for equal marriage rights isn’t being — and can’t be — won only in the courts. There’s progress elsewhere:
(Cincinnati, Ohio) A Presbyterian ecclesiastical court has ruled that an Ohio minister did not break church law when he married several same-sex couples.
The ruling overturns a decision last year by a lower court that found the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken guilty of violating the orders of the Church.
Van Kuiken was rebuked but not removed from the ministry as a result of the original trial. (story)
Van Kuiken, 44, pastor of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, said at the time that the Church is facing a crisis of theological intolerance.
He said he would continue to marry gay and lesbian couples and appealed his conviction.
In its ruling, released today, the synod court said that constitution of the Presbyterian Church does not specifically prohibit ministers from marrying same-sex couples.
That’s a big step for a big church.