Church of Scotland to finally allow same-sex marriages: ‘Tremendous news and progress’
The Church of Scotland has voted to allow same-sex couples to marry.
On Monday (23 May) at the 2022 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, same-sex marriage within the church was approved by 274 votes to 136.
While no person would be required to be involved in marrying a same-sex couple if they don’t want to, the church law has now been changed to enable church ministers and deacons to authorised celebrants to conduct same-sex weddings.
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.”
Same-sex marriage in Scotland has been legal since December 2014, as it has in the rest of Great Britain, however weddings by the Church of Scotland have not been allowed until now.
Politicians, church leaders, and the LGBTQ+ community in Scotland praised the church for this step, with Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party and an openly gay woman, saying she was “delighted” by the decision.
“Delighted to see that the general assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted for ministers to be able to conduct same sex weddings,” she said.
Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, added that the decision was “tremendous news and progress.”
While the Church in Wales does not allow same-sex marriage, it voted in September 2021 to allow “blessings” of same-sex unions. The Church of England, however, is lagging behind in Great Britain with no recognition of same-sex couples, despite a majority of English Anglicans now backing same-sex marriage.
Within the Church of England, LGBTQ+ clergy members are allowed to be in relationships, but must remain celibate.
Jayne Ozanne, a gay evangelical within the Church of England and director of the Ozanne Foundation, 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.”