Comments: Church of Scotland allows opt-outs for clergy in civil partnerships

I can't imagine why anyone from Diverse Church would be wanting to support the idea of the LGBT discrimination of the Church of Scotland being a model for the Church of England to adopt.

It is worth bearing in mind that though the change that the C of S made this week is a step forward, it only brings them to the point that the Scottish Episcopal Church reached years ago of allowing clergy to be in Civil Partnerships without making celibacy demands.

There's an interesting and helpful perspective on what's happening in the C of S from an actual presbyterian here:

Posted by Kelvin Holdsworth at Monday, 18 May 2015 at 12:11pm BST

Kelvin, the "Diverse" in Diverse Church not only stands for different genders and sexuality but also for diverse theological opinions, including a belief in traditional views on same sex relationships.
"All can, none must" seems a reasonable compromise to come to.

The problem with the Scottish Church decision, to my mind, is that it is about Civil Partnerships not about marriage.
And as more and more gay Christian couples are opting for marriage, there will be very few eventually qualifying under the CP legislation, while married people will still be discriminated against.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 18 May 2015 at 1:12pm BST

I think that the reason that this is about civil partnerships rather than marriage is that it is the end result of a process that has been going on for five years or more, before equal marriage came in Scotland's horizons. I understood that the marriage aspects were to be raised in Thursday at the Assembly.

My view, for what it's worth, is that if the Church of England can get somewhere towards this sort of settlement, at a minimum, services of blessing after CPs and equal civil marriage, including CPs and marriage for clergy too, as local decisions rather than imposed by dictat by bishops or synods, we shall have done as well as we can reasonably expect at the moment. It's not perfect and it certainly isn't the end of the road. But it is a small step.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Monday, 18 May 2015 at 1:32pm BST

The General Assembly will be discussing that decision on Thursday afternoon.

btw watching them vote is quite entertaining. They all have keypads around their necks on which they press buttons to indicate their vote - all within a 30sec window. With an immediate result displayed on the screen.

Posted by kennedy at Monday, 18 May 2015 at 3:13pm BST

I notice the Church of Scotland makes the point that - to take advantage of the new option, those who wish to have a Same-Sex partnered pastor, one would have to 'opt-out' of the Church's current doctrinal Statement that Marriage is only for heterosexuals. So, clearly not yet ready to fully accept that Gay people are equal to Straights.

As Father Kelvin says; not as inclusive as SEC.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 19 May 2015 at 4:06am BST

The Church of Scotland voted for the ordination of women,15 years before the Church of England. Maybe the time difference may be similar on the gay issue in England.However the Church of Scotland cleared its self of hyper conservatives over the years through several schisms..they did not fall over themselves to encompass everyone or set two thirds majorities.

Posted by robert ian williams at Tuesday, 19 May 2015 at 5:52am BST

"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."

I did NOT know the Scots were so famous for FUDGE!

Well, inch-by-inch, I guess... (Maranatha!)

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 19 May 2015 at 6:04am BST

The Church of England’s policy on remarriage of divorcees is now commonly used to claim that the Church has changed its understanding of marriage which suggests it "works very well" for those who are happy with that but not at all well for those who wish to safeguard the Church's tradition.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Tuesday, 19 May 2015 at 10:08am BST
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