Church Of Scotland Will Allow Gay Marriages After Historic General Assembly Vote
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The Church of Scotland has made history as members of the General Assembly in Edinburgh have voted to allow same-sex marriages.
The Guardian reports that the Scottish lawmaking body had 274 votes for and 136 against the proposal, ultimately making same-sex couples eligible to get married in churches in services conducted by ministers.
The church’s legislation would be amended to say the marriage of ‘parties’ rather than 'husband and wife'.
Ministers and deacons will now be able to apply to become celebrants of same-sex marriages; however, they are not forced to take part.
Many ministers have already stuck their hands up to be the celebrants of upcoming same-sex wedding ceremonies.
RevJames Bissett tweeted: “I have just emailed the @churchscotland Principal Clerk's office to ask that I be registered as a celebrant of same sex marriages.”
I have just emailed the @churchscotland Principal Clerk's office to ask that I be registered as a celebrant of same sex marriages.— Rev James Bissett (@Revinthenorth) May 23, 2022
Moderator of the General Assembly Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields welcomed the news as it shows the church is beginning to embrace ‘diversity'.
He said: "The Church of Scotland is a broad church and there are diverse views on the subject of same-sex marriage among its members.
"There has been a lengthy, prayerful and in-depth discussion and debate about this topic for many years at all levels of the Church to find a solution that respects diversity and values the beliefs of all.
"The Church is committed to ensuring that debates on this subject are held in a spirit of humility and grace, the tone and tenor of discussions are civil and people are respectful of those who hold opposing views."
Rev Scott Rennie, a fierce advocate for the church to rally behind the LGBTQI+ community, shared his own experience as an openly gay clergy member before the general assembly, according to BBC News.
He said: “My marriage to my husband, Dave, nurtures my life and my ministry, and frankly I do not think I could be a minister of this church without his love and support.
“It is always there in the background. Same-sex marriage is like opposite-sex marriage and it has its joys and sorrows, its glories and its tensions. It’s pretty normal, really.”
Same-sex marriage is currently not allowed in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church; however, it is welcomed in the Scottish Episcopal Church, the United Reformed Church and the Quakers.