A 309 to 183 vote in favor of allowing congregations to ordain gay ministers in same-sex civil partnerships passed through the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Though opponents thought the move would be contradictory to God’s law, supporters thought it was time for the church to be inclusive and recognize the “mixed economy” of Scotland.
A vote later in the week will decide if they will include ministers in same-sex marriages in Church law.
Twenty-one out of 806 ministers left over the possibility of the Church agreeing to allow individual congregations to choose a gay minister, according to Herald Scotland.
“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,” moderator Rev. John Chalmers said. “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’s 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.”
No Kirk session can be forced into ordaining a gay minister.
The Church adopted a position which “maintains a traditional view of marriage between a man and a woman, but allows individual congregations to ‘opt out’ if they wish to appoint a minister or a deacon in a same-sex civil partnership,” spokesman for the Church of Scotland said.
Currently, because same-sex marriage is not legal, same-sex civil partnerships are mentioned.