Scotland to legalize gay marriage by 2015

  • By Trevor Gundy| Religion News Service, Published: July 28
Scotland has announced it will allow same-sex weddings as early as 2015, becoming the first country in the United Kingdomto do so.“We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal, and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships,” said Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who made the announcement on Wednesday (July 25).

The Rev. Fiona Bennett, minister of Augustine United Reform Church(Protestant) in Edinburgh, said, “We’re delighted. It’s been some time coming.”Sturgeon said that religious groups and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage will not be punished for not performing them.

“The Scottish government,” she said, “will take all necessary steps to protect churches and individuals within those churches who do not wish to conduct same sex weddings if they do not agree with them.”

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church said: “The Scottish government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale.”

The Rev. Rod Thomas, chairman of Reform, a conservative evangelical network within the Church of England, said, “God designed marriage to be the union of one man and one woman, reflecting the union of Christ as bridegroom and the Church his bride. God is not a person with whom even U.K. prime ministers can negotiate a more congenial set of commands.”

The announcement came as British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a meeting of prominent gay leaders at his London home, 10 Downing Street.

“I am absolutely determined that this coalition government will follow in that tradition by legalizing gay marriage in this Parliament,” he said.

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Scotland The Brave! Who would have thought that Scotland would be the first of the United Kingdom countries of Great Britain to approve of legislation for Same-Sex Marriage? This reality will no doubt provide the stimulus needed for the rest of the U.K. to follow suit. Already, Prime Minister David Cameron is keen to provide the same facility for people in England and Wales, but has been careful to say – in common with Scottish Parliamentary Leaders – that no religious parties need fear any pressure on them to carry out Same-Sex Marriages in their premises if they do not wish to do so.

Despite this guarantee from the governments concerned, some of the mainstream Church bodies in both Scotland and England are afraid of the possibility that, over the passage of time, they may be under some sort of moral obligation to fall into line with the new provision. What they really might be more worried about is that, if the population as a whole has no objection to the idea of Same-Sex Marriage, they might be seen to be discriminatory against the LGBT community – which, of course, they are.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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