Words by Smiley Team
The Church of Scotland said ‘I do’ to same-sex marriage on Monday, as commissioners voted in favour of marrying same-sex couples at the church’s 2022 General Assembly.
The majority vote of 274 to 136 updates the work and laws of Scotland’s most-followed church to allow deacons and parish ministers to marry same-sex couples if they wish.
Groups and individuals welcomed the news, including Scotland’s Equality Network and MPs.
Ruth Davidson, a Scottish Conservative MP in a same-sex couple, tweeted: “Delighted to see that the general assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted for ministers to be able to conduct same-sex weddings. Thanks to those who have shown grace and care as the church edged closer and closer to this point.”
Likewise, David Mundell, believed to be Scotland’s first openly gay Conservative cabinet minister, tweeted: “I very much welcome this news as will so many other Church of Scotland members. Thank you to all those who worked so hard and patiently for this outcome. Our Church will be the better for it.”
The newly relaxed regulations make the officialdom the UK’s largest church to have embraced marriage for homosexual couples.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Scotland and Great Britain as a whole, since 2014. However, weddings were not permitted in the Church of Scotland until now.
Reverend Craig Dobney told the Evening Standard: “I’ve seen the heartbreak of those in same-sex relationships in our congregations who are unable to marry in their home church, devout Christians though they are.
“To be married, in front of their church families, would mean everything to them but they were not able to do so.”
After the Church of Wales voted in 2021 to allow blessings for same-sex couples, the Church of England is the last which has yet to show any support for same-sex unions. This is despite the fact most Church of England Anglicans back same-sex marriage.
Jayne Ozanne is a gay evangelical in the Church of England and director of religious equality organisation the Ozanne Foundation. She said: “These results show that an overwhelming majority of those who identify as Anglican in England believe that same-sex marriage is right, underlining the urgent need for the Church of England hierarchy to bring forward proposals to accept and celebrate same-sex relationships.
“We have waited long enough.”
DONATE: To help move towards equality in worship, donate to the Ozanne Foundation.