Church of Scotland close to approving gay ministers

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The Church of Scotland is incredibly close to securing a majority in favour of accepting gay clergy.

The church currently bans the ordination of ministers in same-sex relationships – but divisive proposals to change the rules have been under consultation for some time.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly voted to further proposals to allow gay ministers to be appointed – amid threats from more conservative groups.

The move was put up for discussion by the Kirk’s 46 local presbyteries – and the Aberdeen Press and Journal revealed today that nearly half have approved the measure.

21 local presbyteries – including Aberdeen, Orkney, Shetland, Caithness, Sutherland, Abernethy, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Argyll and Glasgow – have backed the proposals, just shy of the 24 needed to approve the measure.

Meanwhile, 10 have rejected the proposals – including e Buchan, Lochaber, Lochcarron and Skye, Uist and Lewis – while 15 have yet to come to a decision.

Just three of the 15 presbyteries left to weigh in on proposals would have to be in favour for the move to go to next year’s General Assembly for final approval.

Reverend John Mann of pro-gay Affirmation Scotland told the newspaper: “Although this proposal is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction and it allows people the freedom of their own conscience.

“We are praying for a time when the Church and other denominations affirm people in same-sex relationships and celebrate love between two people as a gift from God.

“We will keep working towards full equality in the Kirk. That is our mission.”