Reverend Ian Galloway, convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society council, has condemned the jailing of a Malawian gay couple as “unjust”.

Townge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labour last Thursday after being arrested on 28 December 2009 for their ‘symbolic’ wedding.

Reverend Galloway said: “These men have harmed no-one. They are a danger to no-one and should not be in prison.”

The Kirk is currently struggling to reach an agreement over the subject of ordaining openly gay ministers after last year’s appointment of Scott Rennie to Queen’s Cross, an issue which split the Church. The General Assembly, the Church of Scotland’s annual supreme court meeting, is currently being held at The Mound in Edinburgh, where Reverend Galloway said he hoped they would unite over the Malawi case.