Church of Scotland Will Allow Same-Sex Marriages?

The Church of Scotland General Assembly voted in a 345 to 170 vote to rewrite the church’s rules on same-sex marriages after Reverend Bryan Kerr proposed this measure. After drafting new laws they will allow ministers to conduct same-sex marriages in the country, of course the laws should first be passed, but this is one big step forward. More than 4 years passed after non-religious same-sex marriages were legalized in Scotland, but the Church of Scotland refused to accept this practice in their churches although the Church allows ministers to be in same-sex marriages.

Discussions about same-sex marriages in the Church met with both supporters and opponents. According to Pink News, prior to the vote, Reverend Tom Gordon 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.”

On the other hand, some of the participants in the Assembly questioned whether there would be relevant mechanisms to protect those who do not wish to perform the ceremonies between gay people and lesbians. The Reverent Mark Malcolm claimed he would be willing to give up his right to conduct all marriages and only do blessings, as a compromise for the “peace of the church”. He said people who did not support same-sex marriage within the church had been described as bigots, as The Guardian reports. 

The amended motion, as it was passed on the General Assembly, outlines that those future rules would allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages but only if they wish to do so. For those who do not wish to perform this type of marriages the laws should provide relevant safeguards.

This first step is taken and now it is up to the legal question committee to provide some solutions and report back in two years, and a final poll is expected in 2021. If the laws are passed the Church of Scotland will not be the first church to make this decision. In June last year, The Scottish Episcopal Church allowed same-sex marriages to be performed, thus becoming the first branch of the Anglican faith in the UK to do so.

Photo Credits: World News Group

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