The Church of Scotland has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages, following years of deliberation.
Commissioners in the Kirk, as the church is known in Scotland, voted 339 to 215 to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages.
"We had a debate which made very clear that we were not interfering with our theological definition of marriage and were not going to the place where ministers or deacons could themselves be conducting same-sex marriages," John Chalmers, principal clerk to the general assembly, said. "It is an entirely different discussion."
The Kirk [oddly enough] retains the traditional view of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
However, individual congregations can "opt out" if they wish to appoint a minister in a same-sex marriage.
The Church of Scotland is Protestant, Presbyterian and has no bishops. Some 1.7 million people, or 32.4 per cent of the Scottish population, are members, according to the last census in 2011. More than 850 commissioners from across Scotland, the rest of Britain, Africa, Asia, North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean registered to attend the 2016 general assembly.
Colin Macfarlane, director of gay rights charity Stonewall Scotland, said: "Today's result is great news for the Kirk and a progressive move forward. Empowering ministers to live their lives with honesty and integrity sends a powerful signal to faith communities and society as a whole."
Is it honesty and integrity then to yield to the homosexual lobby and redefine the office of minister--which predates the United Kingdom by thousands of years? The crude reality is that churches are responding to the same cultural pressures as nearly everybody else. Instead of compromise, might I suggest saying no to this iniquity, and disfellowship individuals who are trying to change the church into their benighted image. It's called Christian courage and scriptural staunchness. I am quite certain those are biblical qualities.