Two-thirds of Church of Scotland presbyteries vote to allow gay ministers

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The presbyteries of the Church of Scotland have given their overwhelming approval to proposals for the ordination of gay ministers.

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.

Voting among the local presbyteries on the rule changes concluded today – with 32 of 45 approving the change.

In total, 1,391 presbytery members voted in favour of the proposal, with 1,153 against – a split of 54.6 percent/45.4 percent.

Presbyteries that rejected the changes include Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Inverness.

It had already become clear in November that enough presbyteries passed the changes to ensure passage – but the overwhelming victory will aid its passage through the General Assembly.

Reverend John Mann of Affirmation Scotland said: “This is good news, it is what we have been hoping for and working towards.

“I think it is testimony to the broad nature of the Church of Scotland that folks are willing to go along with this.

“It gives people the choice and does not force anything on anybody.”

Senior Tory MSP Alex Johnstone complained previously: “Churches compromising to keep people happy is diametrically opposed to the principals on which they are founded.

“Ultimately the consequence of compromise in this area will further weaken the institution.”