Church of Scotland approves same-sex religious service marriages

The Church of Scotland has voted to allow parish ministers and deacons to marry same-sex couples if they wish.

At the 2022 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, 274 commissioners voted in favour of the move and 136 against it on Monday.

They have approved an overture to change a standing Church law to enable parish ministers, known as Ministers of Word and Sacrament, and deacons to apply to become authorised celebrants to conduct same-sex ceremonies.

A report to the General Assembly makes it clear that no person 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.

This year's General Assembly is a hybrid gathering with 400 commissioners in the hall and another 200 taking part online. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.

All celebrants would be expected to take account of the “peace and unity and pastoral needs of the congregation and any parish or other grouping of which it is a part” while considering conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony.

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