From the Worldwide Faith News archives

PJC rules case of gay elder in Connecticut is moot

Date 5 Dec 2001 08:54:23 -0500

Note #6965 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


PJC rules case of gay elder in Connecticut is moot

Osborne's seat on session has been filled, so case is "no longer relevant" 

by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE - In a decision likely to displease both sides in the
Presbyterian Church (USA)'s dispute over ordination standards, the General
Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) has dismissed as moot a
closely-watched case concerning a gay elder in Connecticut.

	The surprise ruling was issued Dec. 4 after it was revealed at a Nov. 30
hearing that the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CT,
had elected and the session had installed a new class of elders last June.

	Therefore, the PJC ruled, the question of whether elder Wayne Osborne, a
self-acknowledged gay man who was elected to a term of service on the
previous session at First church, was eligible for installation is "no
longer relevant to the disposition of this case."

	Once the new session was elected, the church court held, Osborne "ceased to
be eligible for installation."

	"The Permanent Judicial Commission said nothing on the substance of the
underlying case," noted the Rev. Mark Tammen, director of the Department of
Constitutional Services in the Office of the General Assembly, "because
there is no longer any case."

	The case against Osborne - who acknowledged his homosexual orientation
after his ordination in 1994 - began in June of 1998 after he was elected to
an additional term on the Stamford session. Due to a series of stays, he was
never installed.

	The original complaint alleged that the Stamford session failed to
adequately examine Osborne to determine if he was sexually active, which
would violate G-6.0106b (the "fidelity and chastity" provision) of The Book
of Order.  By lower court mandate, Osborne was reexamined in January 2000
and again approved for installation.
Send your response to this article to

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send an 'unsubscribe' request to

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home