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Decision No. 442

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October 26 1978
In Re: Constitutionality of Subparagraph 1706.4(a)(2) of

Digest of Case

Subparagraph 1706.4(a)(2) is unconstitutional because discriminatory on the basis of marital status in violation of Par. 15.14 of the Constitution.

Statement of Facts

The General Board of Pensions petitioned for a declaratory decision as to the constitutionality of subparagraph 1706.4(a)(2). The Kansas East Conference authorized the Chairperson of its Board of Pensions to appear before the Judicial Council for the purpose of defending the constitutionality of this and other related portions of the 1976 Discipline. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2515.2(c) of the 1976 Discipline. ANALYSIS This petition was filed after our Decision No. 427 but before No. 433, though not in time for our October, 1977 session at which the issues involved in the later decision were heard and considered. What is said in Decision 427, and especially the analysis of No. 433, are dispositive of this proceeding. Subparagraph 1706.4(a)(2) attempts to create a different system of pension credits for a minister and spouse, both of whom are members of the same Annual Conference and under appointment, from that applicable to other ministers. This is a clear violation of Par. 15.14 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or status. We have repeatedly held that prohibition includes discrimination on the basis of marital status. See also Decision No. 7 of the Interim Judicial Council and Decision No. 317.

Decision

Subparagraph 1706.4(a)(2) of the 1976 Discipline is unconstitutional and invalid.

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