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Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003
File 007
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Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 007. 2003-04-18. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16659.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-04-18). Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 007. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16659

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 007, 2003-04-18, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16659.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
Publisher Window Media
Date April 18, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 007
Transcript APRI118, 2003 www.houston voice.com HOUSTON VOICE national news Minister tried for marrying, ordaining gays Presbyterian Church could be on brink of 'crisis,' minister says By CHRISTOPHER SEELY CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Presbytery held court April 8 to try Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken on charges of ignoring church rules and marrying same-sex couples and ordaining gay men and lesbians as deacons by elders in Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church, where he serves as pastor. A verdict is expected no later than April 22, according to Martha Sexton, chair of the seven-member judicial commission that presided over the trial. Van Kuiken submitted a written statement at the trial outlining his defiance of church law, freely admitting guilt to the charges brought against him. The pastor cited Martin Luther King, Jr.'s doctrine that breaking an unjust law and being willing to pay the price is the highest respect for the law, according to the statement. "Disobeying these unjust provisions is necessary for reform and progress in the [Presbyterian Church (USA)]. Instead of avoiding the conflict that is in our denomination, we need to continually and openly address the root causes of our conflict," Van Kuiken wrote. Dozens of people, including members of Soulforce, turned out to support Rev. Van Kuiken during his trial April 8 but none of them were allowed to watch the legal proceedings before the Cincinnati Presbytery. (Photo by AP) At trial, a prosecuting committee presented charges filed by an investigative committee that accused Van Kuiken of ordaining and marrying gay men and lesbians in violation of the Book of Order of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church. According to the church code, gays can be ordained as deacons or elders in the church only if they do not admit to having sex, in or out of a relationship. Heterosexual married couples are not required to be celibate. "It's a double standard," Van Kuiken said in an interview with Southern Voice this week. "Gay people can't be married. Any gay person in a committed relationship is, by definition, excluded from being an ordained leader of the church." Until the year 2000, Mount Auburn was known to perform holy union ceremonies using the same liturgy as it would use for heterosexual couples, Van Kuiken said. ■ Jennifer and Cheryl McKettrick were the first same-sex couple that Van Kuiken united in Mount Auburn, and the couple started attending the church because of its gay-friendly reputation. Mount Auburn issued a "Statement of Inclusive Ordination" for 11 consecutive years declaring that "gays and lesbians are part of God's good creation." "We didn't come to Mount Auburn because it was Presbyterian," Cheryl McKettrick said. "We came because of what it stands for. It was important for us to have a religious ceremony in front of our friends and family in a sanctuary." But marriages such as McKettrick's put Van Kuiken in violation of church code because he equated same-sex unions with heterosexual marriages. The church code does not place an ironclad ban on gay "holy unions," but a ruling in 2000 by the church's General Assembly Judicial Commission decreed that same-sex unions are acceptable only if "they are not considered the sarnie as a marriage ceremony." Crisis in the church Paul Rolf Jensen, an attorney, filed the disciplinary case against Van Kuiken on Please see PRESBYTERIAN TRIAL on Page 7
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