Scottish Episcopal Church Votes in Favour of Same-Sex Marriage


Same Sex wedding rings


Yesterday, Friday June 10th was an historic day for the Scottish Episcopal Church and indeed for the LGBT community and the Anglican Church worldwide. The Church’s Synod voted in favour of changing the marriage canon of its constitution, a highly significant step in the opening up of religious marriage ceremonies to LGBT people. More than two thirds of each of its three houses, Bishops, Clergy and Laity voted in favour of the proposed changes.


However, this is not the final step in the process. The bill must now be discussed by each of the Church’s seven diocesan synods and will be followed by a further vote by the General Synod next year. To be successfully passed it will require a two thirds majority of each house at that time. The proposals include a conscience clause for members of clergy not comfortable with officiating at a marriage of a same-sex couple. The Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), the largest church in Scotland, also held a similar vote at its recent synod, which was also passed by a significant majority. Particular praise and commendation is due to the Episcopal Church of Scotland’s Primate, Irishman, Bishop David Chillingworth for his leadership on the matter. The debate in Scotland has been dignified and above all respectful of the viewpoints of all.


This is very encouraging news for the Anglican Church worldwide and indeed for LGBT members in the Church of Ireland. Our Church’s Committee on Human Sexuality recently launched a guide on the conversation and workshops and listening opportunities will be facilitated in dioceses across the country in the coming months.


Further information on the vote in Scotland can be found here and on BBC online