The Church of Scotland in a historic decision voted to allow same-sex marriages, becoming the largest Church in the UK to allow gay marriages. 

On Monday, the Church’s General Assembly voted by 274 to 136 to allow its ministers and deacons to opt in to officiate at same-sex weddings. The general assembly  approved the “Solemnisation of Same Sex Marriage Overture” and said it would update legislation to remove references to marriage between ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and instead refer to ‘parties’. 

Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly, said that there were “diverse views” in the Church on the issue of same-sex marriages. “No minister or deacon would be required to participate in the solemnisation of, or be involved in the arrangements for, a same sex marriage unless they explicitly wished to do so,” said Dr Greenshields. 

First Gay Wedding Soon

The first of the gay weddings are likely to take place later this year, according to Scotland’s Churches Trust. Ministers have already put up their hands to apply to be a celebrant at gay weddings. 

“I have just emailed the Church of Scotland’s Principal Clerk’s office to ask that I be registered as a celebrant of same sex marriages,” tweeted Rev James Bisset, a chaplain to the Royal Air Force’s air cadets. 

The Church of Scotland’s vote was welcomed by other churches which have marriage equality. 

“This is a tremendously positive step for the LGBTQI community and for Christians worldwide,” Rev. Elder Maxwell Reay, Scotland resident and a member of Metropolitan Community Churches’ Council of Elders, said in a statement. 

“People all around the world are moving to recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriages, and it’s wonderful to see the Church of Scotland joining the movement for full marriage equality. I look forward to the day that the Church of England makes the same decision,” said Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide. 

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