The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to allow gay couples to marry in church. It makes it the first major Christian church in the UK to allow same-sex marriages.
The vote to amend canon law on marriage, removing the stipulation that it is between a man and a woman, was carried by the Synod in Edinburgh. It means that gay Christians from any Anglican Church can now ask to be married in a Scottish Episcopal Church.
Clergy who wish to officiate at gay marriages will have to “opt-in”. The church said this meant that those who disagreed with gay marriage would be protected and not have to act against their conscience.
The Episcopal Church’s Bishop of Edinburgh, The Right Reverend Dr John Armes, said: "I am very pleased for the couples who can now have their relationships recognised by the church and blessed by God".
Although the Episcopal Church of Scotland will be the first member of the Anglican communion to allow same-sex weddings, other churches already recognize and perform same-sex weddings. The first Protestant Church in the UK to legally marry and recognize same-sex couples was the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) in 2014. Other churches in the UK which already perform and recognize same-sex marriages include Quaker, Unitarian, and the United Reform Church (with over 1400 congregations). The Reform and Liberal Jewish movements in the UK also perfom and recognized same-sex weddings (source - Wiki). What is remarkable about this announcement is the highly controversial nature of it. Although the Episcopal Church of Scotland is not the established (state)church in Scotland (the Presbyterian Church, which is also considering legalizing same-sex marriages, is), it is the established church in England, and same-sex marriage is a highly controversial issue. The Anglican Communion, the association of over 85 million Christians in national worldwide churches, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as spiritual head, is currently being torn apart by this and other social issues. African and other third world members of the Anglican Communion are very opposed to gay marriage, and are threatening to split into another socially conservative religious movement.ReplyDelete