LONDON (AP) – The Scottish Episcopal Church
voted Thursday to allow its clerics to marry
same-sex couples, the first Anglican branch in
Britain to permit gay weddings in church.
Church members voted to remove the
doctrinal clause which stated that marriage is
a “union of one man and one woman.” The
proposal was passed with 80 percent support
from bishops and laity and 67 percent of the
clergy – achieving the required two-thirds
The church’s decision specifies that clergy
who don’t wish to preside over same-sex
weddings won’t be compelled to do so
“against their conscience.”
The church’s presiding bishop, the Most Rev.
David Chillingworth, called it “a momentous
He said that “our church now affirms that a
same-sex couple are not just married, but are
married in the sight of God.”
The move puts the Scottish church at odds
with the official stance of the Anglican
Communion, which holds that marriage is the
union of a man and a woman.
The church has wrestled with the issue for
years. Last year, the U.S. Episcopal Church
was sanctioned by Anglican leaders for
authorizing same-sex marriages.