A Church of Scotland minister has quit both his post and the Kirk over the ordination of an openly gay man.

John MacLeod, 39, from the Church’s World Mission at St Andrew’s Kirk in Nassau, Bahamas, resigned in June.

Although another minister, Reverend Thomas Mackinnon, of Kilmuir and Logie Easter Church of Scotland, Delny, announced he was leaving his post last month, MacLeod is the first to leave the Kirk completely. He has said he may join another church such as the Free Church of Scotland.

The controversy began when Reverend Scott Rennie was appointed as minister of Queen’s Cross Church, Aberdeen. His ordination was opposed by many in the church because he is openly gay and lives with his partner.

After approving Rennie’s ordination, the Church of Scotland General Assembly imposed a two-year moratorium on ordaining new gay ministers and banned members of the clergy from talking to the media about the issue.

MacLeod told the Herald: “It wasn’t just the Scott Rennie thing, it was the general tenor of the General Assembly that I don’t think is the way a church should do business.

“I think it is a shame that the Church of Scotland has tried to stifle the debate.”

He is currently working out six months’ notice.