The General Assembly of the Church of
Scotland on Saturday voted to allow gay ministers who are married to
continue to serve.
With a 339-215 vote, commissioners
gathering in Edinburgh approved the change.
However, gay and lesbian couples remain
barred from marrying in the church. A debate on whether to support
such unions is expected next year.
“We had a debate which made very
clear that we were not interfering with our theological definition of
marriage and were not going to the place where ministers or deacons
could themselves be conducting same-sex marriages,” the
Very Rev John Chambers said.
LGBT rights activists praised the move.
“Today's result is great news for the
Kirk and a progressive move forward,” said Stonewall Scotland
Director Colin Macfarlane. “Empowering ministers to live their
lives with honesty and integrity sends a powerful signal to faith
communities and society as a whole.”