In a split decision, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) panel on Monday acquitted the Rev Erwin Barron, a minister married to a partner of the same sex as himself, who faced charges of violating the Church constitution. The panel of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area voted 3-3 after a trial at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church. The decision fell short of the two-thirds vote required to convict the Rev Erwin Barron.

A complaint was filed against Barron after he married his gay partner, Roland Abellano in 2008, during the few months that same-sex marriage was legal there.

Shortly after the marriage, Barron wrote several commentaries weighing in on the ongoing debate over homosexuality within the PC(USA) – the largest Presbyterian denomination in the country. He suggested that Presbyterians not begin with the Bible when addressing the issue.

"In our debates in the Presbyterian Church over homosexuality, if we begin with the Bible, we will likely reach a polarised stalemate," he wrote. "Bible discussions are too often divisive. When we begin with the Bible, we are not beginning with a natural place for all of us. Rather than the Bible, the beginning point for discussions on homosexuality should be the personal experiences we all share."

The panel's decision on Monday will likely be appealed.



  1. This story is kind of confusing. It’s in Minnesota (Twin Cities), but says

    “Barron … married his gay partner, Roland Abellano in 2008, during the few months that same-sex marriage was legal there’

    [To the best of my knowledge, SSM has never been legal in Minnesota.]

    I think think the words “in California” is missing from the above paragraph.

    At any rate: a split-decision acquittal is better than a 2/3rds guilty verdict!

    Oh for the day when HOMOPHOBIA is on trial…

  2. They make a cute couple and it’s a good story but, a propos of nothing, I really hate traditional wedding cakes with plastic stuff on top. I hate the way they look, the icing, everything 🙁 Sorry.

  3. Cathy, you must not be the only one. It is quite in vogue here to have non-traditional cakes.

    Two of the best were a cake that seemed to be the traditional white cake, except it was decorated with strawberries, and, when cut, turned out to be cheesecake slathered in whipped cream; the other was a marvelous carrot cake with cream-cheese icing and marzipan fruit as decoration.

  4. Yes Cathy, however these two appear to be a class of gay men into kitsch. The smaller cake appears to have kissing bobble heads and the larger cake seems to have something just as tastefully untasteful.

    I recently was at a wedding reception (in the US) where the cake was decorated with lovely edible flower petals and when cut, the beautiful white frosting concealed a delicious red velvet cake.