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Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages

Joseph McCormick May 21, 2016
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The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly has voted to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages.

The Assembly, which takes place starting today in Edinburgh, approved a measure to build on a law passed in May 2015 to allow ministers to enter civil partnerships.

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A compromise was made meaning the Church still considers marriage as between a man and a woman, but allows congregations to “opt out”.

339 voted for the measure, compared to 215 against, reports STV.

This means that the congregations that opt out can appoint a minister or deacon in a same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been a divisive issue in the church for several years.

Over 850 commissioners from around the world had signed up to attend the assembly.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended the opening ceremony of the assembly on Saturday morning, and a new Moderator was appointed after the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison stood down.

Queen Elizabeth II wrote a letter which was also read out at the ceremony.

The monarch said: “At a time of such upheaval and unrest across the world, it is reassuring to hear that the Church of Scotland has made a particular priority of working to develop a co-ordinated response to the issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers.

“This international crisis requires a compassionate and generous response and we are pleased that in keeping with your priority to serve the poorest and most vulnerable, you are making such a valuable contribution.”

A majority of people in Scotland have say they have no religion, as Church of Scotland numbers fell.

The Scottish Social Attitudes survey found that 52 percent of people in Scotland now say they are not religious.

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