While the [presbyterian] Church of Scotland is due to vote today on whether to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages, Harriet Sherwood also reports in the Guardian: Scottish churches push forward on gay rights that:
…The Scottish Episcopal Church is expected to take the first step in a two-stage process at its synod next month towards changing church law to allow same-sex weddings in church. If passed, a second vote would be required next year.
Such a move would invite de facto sanctions by the international Anglican Communion similar to the measures imposed on the US Episcopal Church earlier this year after it permitted clergy to perform same-sex weddings.
David Chillingworth, the primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said: “The canonical change would make it possible for our clergy to conduct same-sex marriages and to be in same-sex marriages – that’s the direction in which we’re moving.”
However, he added, “there is also a significant group of people who regard it as wrong, contrary to scripture and the fundamental teachings of the church”. He said his job was “to preserve the unity of the church”.
If the change to church law passed next year, he said, “we’re aware we will probably find ourselves in the same position as the US Episcopal Church. These are difficult issues; we are all in transition.”
ACNS has a more detailed report on this by Gavin Drake: Scottish Episcopal Church to debate changes to marriage canon.
…The current Canon, C31, begins by defining marriage by stating: “The Doctrine of this Church is that Marriage is a physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and is a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God.”
The proposed amendment to Canon C31 would replace that wording with a new clause which says: “In the light of the fact that there are differing understandings of the nature of marriage in this Church, no cleric of this Church shall be obliged to conduct any marriage against their conscience. . .”
The full text of the report by the Doctrine Committee on the Theology of Marriage which has led to this debate can be found here.
This page contains links to all the documents for the June meeting of the Scottish General Synod.