The reverend Bryan Kerr introduced the motion to draft new laws regarding how Church Of Scotland ministers and churches would adapt to include same-sex marriage. It passed by a majority of 345 to 170 votes at the general assembly which was held in Edinburgh on Saturday.
Although non-religious same-sex marriage has been legal in Scotland since 2014, this redraft would potentially allow same-sex couples to marry in a church and be officiated by a minister. The next step for the draft is to go before the legal questions committee of the Church, which must report back in two years time.
There was a touching speech delivered by the Reverend Tom gordon at the assembly, who said, “I have two daughters, both of whom are married. I have one gay daughter in a same-sex marriage. When my older daughter got married she had a choice – to ask me to conduct her service as a minister or for me to walk her down the aisle as her dad. But when my younger daughter got married, she had no such choice. Give people a choice: allow their marriage to be conducted by a minister. With God’s blessing.”
There were concerns raised about ministers who may be uncomfortable officiating same-sex marriages and whether there would be a choice for them to opt out. It was agreed the new draft would have safeguards in place if that arose. The Reverend Mark Malcolm was concerned it seemed that those who did not support same-sex marriage would be considered as bigots, but would we willing to give up conducting marriages for the “peace of the Church”.
In May of last year, the Church Of Scotland assembly approved the issuing of an apology directed towards the LGBT+ community on historical discrimination they would have received from the church.
They follow behind the Scottish Episcopal Church, which was the first major UK Christian Church to become same-sex marriage inclusive.
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