Colman Domingo
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Church of Scotland OK's Gay Clergy in Civil Partnerships

Church of Scotland OK's Gay Clergy in Civil Partnerships

The Church of Scotland has agreed to ordain ministers who are in same-sex civil partnerships, the BBC reports.

Delegates to the church’s General Assembly approved the move by a vote of  309 to 183 today in Edinburgh. The vote followed a period of consultation with the church’s presbyteries, which had endorsed the change by a margin of 31 to 14. The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian and, despite its name, is not state-controlled.

This means the church “maintains a traditional view of marriage between a man and woman, but allows individual congregations to 'opt out' if they wish to appoint a minister or a deacon in a same-sex civil partnership,” a Church of Scotland spokesman said.

Because the debate over ordaining partnered gay clergy predated the legalization of same-sex marriage in Scotland, which took effect late last year, the General Assembly had to vote first on ordaining ministers in civil partnerships, which were available to same-sex couples before marriage. Thursday, the assembly will consider amending the new policy to include ministers in same-sex marriages.

The church already allowed individual congregations to appoint openly gay clergy, under certain conditions.

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