Scotland: Church rejects compromise to allow some congregations to appoint gay ministers

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A proposal by the Church of Scotland to allow worshippers to appoint gay ministers if they wish, has been overwhelmingly rejected by one congregation.

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly had proposed that individual congregations may appoint ministers in same-sex relationships at their own discretion.

Despite offering a compromise on the contentious issue, the proposal was rejected overwhelmingly by the Inverness Presbytery congregation, with 49-13 voting against it in a secret ballot earlier this week.

Worshippers have already left the congregation over the issue, and members of the church commented to say that the compromise which had intended to unify the church actually proved divisive.

The Church of Scotland earlier this year got one step closer to allowing the ordination of gay ministers, after plans secured the backing of a majority of local presbyteries.

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.