Thursday, 21 May 2015

Church of Scotland defers action on clergy in same sex marriages

Following on from its decision earlier in the week relating to clergy in civil partnerships, today the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland considered the case of clergy in same-sex marriages.

Church sends decision on same sex marriage to presbyteries

The General Assembly has taken the first step to extend the provision covering ministers in same sex civil partnerships to those in same sex marriages. The final decision has been deferred until its presbyteries have been consulted under the process known as the Barrier Act. Presbyteries will now debate the matter and return their votes by the end of this year.
Following the historic vote on Saturday, it means congregations may now opt out of traditional church teaching on marriage to call a minister or deacon in a same sex civil partnership, but that provision does not extend to any ministers entering into same sex marriages until the final vote has been taken. Special provisions have been agreed which protect any minister or deacon ordained before May 31st 2009 who is now in a same sex marriage…

The decision is explained by Frank Cranmer this way: Same-sex marriage for Church of Scotland ministers? – not just yet. As Frank notes:

If a majority of presbyteries approves the proposal it will return to the Assembly in 2016 for a final decision. Any wider consideration of the theological understanding of same-sex marriage will not take place until the Theological Forum presents its report at a future date.

The Joint Report of the Theological Forum and the Legal Questions Committee on the matter is available here: the proposed draft amending legislation to extend the ambit of the Ministers and Deacons in Civil Partnerships Act (passed on Saturday) to include ministers and deacons in same sex marriages is in the Appendices to the Joint Report.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 21 May 2015 at 10:08pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

Dear editors,

Can we please have a thread on the Irish referendum?

Editors Reply: Yes.

Posted by: John on Saturday, 23 May 2015 at 8:17pm BST

More sexual orientation apartheid from the Church of Scotland is no surprise. I suppose it is some progress because the C of E requires clergy in civil unions to pretend they are celibate. And the C of E has the quadruple lock preventing the marriage of same-sex couples in church.

Civil partnershps are a separate and unequal institution reserved for a stigmatized group, whereas civil marriage is for all couples. And they are far less likely to be recognized in another jurisdiction, putting a same-sex couple and their children at risk. Now that same-sex couples may marry in Scotland, I don't see why a same-sex couple would choose to get a civil partnership.

Having one's rights up for a vote presbytery by presbytery for a year is a cruel joke.


Gary Paul Gilbert

Posted by: Gary Paul Gilbert on Monday, 25 May 2015 at 7:20pm BST
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