Tag Archives: Civil Partnerships

Like a mighty tortoise moves the Kirk of God….. but we’re getting there

Church votes in favour of allowing ministers in same sex civil partnerships

16 May, 2015
The Church of Scotland has voted in favour of allowing people in same sex civil partnerships to be called as ministers and deacons.
The Church of Scotland has voted in favour of allowing people in same sex civil partnerships to be called as ministers and deacons.

The historic decision was made by the General Assembly on the Mound in Edinburgh today, where the motion was passed by 309 votes in favour and 182 against.

The outcome is the culmination of years of deliberation within the Church. The motion has faced a series of debates and votes before the final decision was arrived at this afternoon. This included 31 of the Church’s presbyteries endorsing the move to 14 who opposed it.

This means the Church has adopted a position which maintains a traditional view of marriage between a man and woman, but allows individual congregations to ‘opt out’ if they wish to appoint a minister or a deacon in a same sex civil partnership.

In a speech later today the outgoing Moderator Very Rev John Chalmers is expected to say:

“There’s something else that we have to learn as a Church and that is the power of harmony. Of course we need the freedom across the Church to shape the life and worship of the Church according to local needs and local gifts (and we have seen wonderful examples of this – from Soul Space at Johnstone High Parish to the Shed in Stornoway) but we cannot go on suffering the pain of internal attacks which are designed to undermine the work or the place of others. It’s time to play for the team.

“And let me be very clear here – I am not speaking to one side or another of the theological spectrum. I am speaking to both ends and middle. It is time to stop calling each other names, time to shun the idea that we should define ourselves by our differences and instead define ourselves by what we hold in common – our baptism into Christ, our dependence on God’s grace, our will to serve the poor and so on.”

Co-ordinator of the Principal Clerk’s office, Very Rev David Arnott, said: “The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decided today to allow individual Kirk Sessions the possibility of allowing a Nominating Committee to consider an application from a minister living in a civil partnership. During a vacancy a Kirk Session may, but only if it so wishes, and after due deliberation, agree to a Nominating Committee accepting an application from such a minister. No Kirk Session may be coerced into doing so against its own wishes. This decision was in line with a majority of presbyteries who voted in favour of such a move.”

Because the debate predates the legalisation of gay marriage the proposed change mentions only civil partnerships, not same-sex marriages.

The Assembly will be asked on Thursday to consider amending today’s new Church law to include ministers in same-sex marriages.

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Discrimination – of a different type

Following a public consultation, the British Government yesterday announced that it would leave in place civil partnerships for gay couples, but would not extend them to straight couples.

Following a public consultation, the British Government yesterday announced that it would leave in place civil partnerships for gay couples, but would not extend them to straight couples.

Christian Concern and Christian Legal Centre responded to the consultation to claim that straight couples would be discouraged from marrying, and that it would lead to instability in families.

“The introduction of heterosexual civil partnerships will inevitably discourage some opposite sex couples from marrying, and result in greater instability within families, by offering a parallel institution that provides all the legal rights and privileges of marriage without the need for lifelong commitment.”

 

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Hootsmon

some of the readers’ comments – online edition of the Scotsman (following its report on the Kirk’s debate yesterday about same-sex ministerial civil unions.

Some nasty stuff here

 

 

 

pigpen

8:37 AM on 22/05/2014

Stick to the way of the Bible, or are people wanting to run
religion in the manner they wish? Dangerous.

 

 

The Ayrshire Bard

8:27 AM on 22/05/2014

I’m not sure that a gay minister can discuss the sanctity of marriage with a young couple prior to their marriage?

 

 

Thucydides

8:12 AM on 22/05/2014

I fear for the Kirk now.
The Word of God rejected, the flock misled.
Nothing new in this, Paul warned about it very early on in Ephesus and it has occurred constantly since. 
The difficult but probably correct decision for the believers in the Kirk now is to decide if they can stay in a Kirk that has failed to apply the Word of God, clearly written, to their lives. A difficult personal decision must be made.
Loyalty to Jesus their Lord, or loyalty to a disobedient church.
The end result of either decision, while hard, is obvious.

 

 

AntoineBisset

8:09 AM on 22/05/2014

“But Rev Bryan Kerr, countering the Evangelical motion, said that while he was not “100 per cent comfortable” with the gay clergy plans, he said it offered “the best chance of peace and unity” for the Kirk.”

Peace and unity of the Church are far from being the important point. Adhering to the teachings of Christ as promulgated by Christians down the centuries is. Up till now Christian teaching has been clear that homosexuality is a deviation from the norm that is not to be condoned.

 

 

Richard Lionheart

7:50 AM on 22/05/2014

“go into the world of darkness and conform to all it’s ways”
the Gospel according to the CofS!

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