Church of Scotland edges closer to allowing gay ministers with General Assembly vote

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted in favour of a proposal which could eventually lead to the ordination of ministers in civil partnerships.

The Kirk’s assembly voted today to allow its governing body of elders to debate whether or not to allow gay ministers to be appointed.


Following today’s debate which examined the legal and theological implications of the proposal, commissioners voted by 369 for, and 189 against.

At the end of the debate, the Moderator the Right Rev John Chalmers told commissioners: “This has been a difficult day and a difficult discussion for all of us. From me to you my grateful thanks it has been conducted as a respectful dialogue and a model of how these conversations should be held within the Church.”

If approved by the 46 presbyteries, and then by a final vote at next year’s assmebly, the change could become church law by summer 2015.

Whether or not gay ministers should be ordained has proven to be controversial. Today’s Overture seeks to keep the church together by way of compromise.

About 250 worshippers left one of the largest congregations in the Church of Scotland this week amid a row over gay ministers.

They are objecting to the direction of the debate sparked by the appointment of openly gay Reverend Scott Rennie to Aberdeen’s Queen’s Cross Church in 2009.

Reverend Rennie’s appointment led to a two-year moratorium on new openly gay ministers.