Knighthood given to Church of Scotland Reverend who rallied for gay inclusion

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A knighthood has been awarded to a reverend who has been instrumental in helping the Church of Scotland battle homophobia.

The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance will be given a knighthood for his work in enabling the Church to perform same-sex marriages as well as paving the way for the institution to formally apologise to gay people who have been discriminated against in its practice.

The priest convened Kirk’s theological forum, an influential organisation which resources, expresses and challenges the theology that informs the life and work of the Church.

The Very Reverend led the forum which challenged the church’s attitude to same-sex marriage until May 2017, in which Torrance spearheaded a report that said the Church should be able to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The landmark apology also It also said that the Kirk should apologise for failing to recognise the Christian vocation of gay people.

“We recognise that as a Church we have often failed to recognise and protect the identity and Christian vocation of gay people and believe that the Church as a whole should acknowledge its faults,” read the report, led by Torrance.

“Scriptural condemnations of same-sex sexual activity were framed in cultural contexts very different from our own and referred to individual acts rather than committed and faithful people willing to enshrine their relationships in vows before God.”

Oliver Entwhistle, chair of the civil service Rainbow Alliance, the cross-departmental network for lesbian, gay and bisexual civil servants, will also receive an OBE for his work.