Landmark report paves way for gay marriage in the Kirk

The Kirk's General Assembly HallThe Kirk's General Assembly Hall
The Kirk's General Assembly Hall
Gay marriages could soon take place in the Church of Scotland following the publication of a major report.

The document, which is due to be debated at the Kirk’s General Assembly next month, said ministers should be allowed to perform same-sex ceremonies.

It also says that the Kirk should apologise for failing to recognise the Christian vocation of gay people.

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The report will be presented to the General Assembly by the influential Theological Forum of the Church of Scotland.

It said: “We recognise that as a Church we have often failed to recognise and protect the identity and Christian vocation of gay people and believe that the Church as a whole should acknowledge its faults, whose identity and Christian vocation it has failed to recognise and protect.”

While the report acknowledged the traditionalist view that Biblical writers condemned same-sex acts, it also examined the revisionist arguments.

It said: “Scriptural condemnations of same-sex sexual activity were framed in cultural contexts very different from our own and referred to individual acts rather than committed and faithful people willing to enshrine their relationships in vows before God.”

Scott Rennie, the gay minister whose appointment to an Aberdeen parish in 2008 caused controversy, has welcomed the report.

He said: “The request that the Kirk recognise its damaging failure through the years to value, encourage, and support gay people in its pews - and to do better in the future - is one of the most positive and hopeful things I have read in a report to the General Assembly in many years.

“It recognises, at last, the diversity of people that make up the Church of Scotland, and Scotland at large.

“It says in its own theological language: you are valued; you are part of us; and we have to do better at including you - and being just in our treatment of you.”