Humanist Society Scotland chief quits after same-sex weddings row

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The head of the Humanist Society Scotland has resigned, after a bitter feud regarding the country’s ‘first’ same-sex wedding.

Couples in Scotland began to marry at 12:01am on December 31, after the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act came into effect and a notice period passed.

One of the first weddings was that of Gerrie and Susan ­Douglas-Scott – which was attended by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie.

However Douglas McLellan of Humanist Society Scotland – which performs humanist weddings in the country – accused the pair of spoiling his plans for the first wedding by inviting the politicians.

Mr McLellan had planned for the separate wedding of Malx Brown and Joe ­Schofield from Clackmannanshire to take place as the ‘first’ wedding – and scalded the Douglas-Scotts in the press for their separate humanist event.

According to the Herald Scotland, he took a “dim view” of rival weddings, and added: “[We] reached out to politicians only to find that they had been booked elsewhere.

“We knew that [the Douglas-Scotts] wished to have a ceremony on December 31 as would other couples.

“We did not think that there would be a potentially rival event stemming from inside the society.”

A statement from HSS last week said: “The Board of Trustees has today accepted the resignation of the Chief Executive, Douglas McLellan.

“The Members of the Board would like to thank Douglas for his hard work and dedication during his time in office, and for his contribution to the promotion of humanist thinking and ideas throughout Scotland.

“The Members of the Board wish Douglas all the best for the future.”