Soulforce Civil Disobedience Action on Floor of Presbyterian Assembly

July 12, 2010
Soulforce, a national group of LGBT and allied faith activists, mobilized a civil disobedience action in response to the Presbyterian Church (USA) vote on same-sex marriage.  Eighteen demonstrators interrupted the actions of the Presbyterian General Assembly and eleven people were arrested when they refused to leave the convention center. Soulforce was protesting a late-night decision to replace the twelve marriage equality proposals with a referral to regional presbyteries for further study.   The morning after the vote, a commissioner moved to reconsider the decision but it did not garner the required 2/3 vote, despite the fact that clergy were begging for guidance as to how they should respond to gay and lesbian congregants who are asking clergy to perform marriage ceremonies in states where marriage for same-sex couples is legal. Just before the PCUSA General Assembly, the Rev. Jean Southard faced a church court and was found guilty of performing a legal wedding between two women in Massachusetts.  She is appealing the decision.