Scottish Bishop: Same-sex unions are ‘out of step’ with the rest of the world

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The Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney has attacked a move to permit priests within his church to conduct same-sex marriages.

Rt Rev Dr Bob Gillies hit out ahead of a debate among Scottish Episcopalians tomorrow over whether to amend the church’s definition of marriage.

He has instead proposed a motion to the General Synod in Edinburgh seeking to reaffirm marriage as only being between a man and a woman.

Speaking to the Aberdeen Press and Journal, the bishop said: “The largest part of the world acknowledges marriage as between a man and a woman.

“I accept that is not the case now in some parts of western Europe and North America, but it is they who are out of step with the rest of the world.

“Our view isn’t out of step with elsewhere. We have lots of Nigerian ministers in Aberdeen, for instance, who view this sort of thing as an anathema.”

Gillies has been criticised by another Scottish bishop, the Rt Rev Mark Strange, who accused him of “creating stumbling blocks when we should be making stepping stones”.

Same-sex weddings began in Scotland in December 2014, nine months after England and Wales, but both the Episcopalians and Scotland’s largest church, the Church of Scotland, are yet to allow same-sex unions.

The Church of Scotland did recently vote to allow clergy to enter same-sex marriages themselves, however – a significant step towards embracing equality.