The Church of Scotland has voted in favour of allowing homosexual men and lesbians to serve as church ministers.
The decision, taken yesterday at the General Assembly, applies to clergy who have declared their homosexuality and were ordained before May 2009.
The future ordination and training of gay and lesbian clergy will be decided in 2013 when a theological commission publishes a report on the matter.
The commission will also discuss the issue of same-sex marriage and liturgy for civil partnerships.
A motion of dissent will be signed today by those who are opposed to the move.
The decision to allow homosexual clergy was taken despite a special commission showing 60 per cent of Kirk session members were against the move.
The issue came to the fore two years ago when it was announced that Scott Rennie, a divorced father-of-one who lives with his homosexual partner, had been appointed as minister of a church in Aberdeen.
Revd Andrew Randall of Larbert Old Church said yesterday’s decision by the General Assembly “opens the door to de facto revisionism” and would be a Trojan horse for liberalism.
And Revd Louis Kinsey, Minister of St Columba’s, Bridge of Don, said: “The Church of Scotland has decided to follow modern culture and not Scripture.”
But homosexual lobby group, Stonewall Scotland, was delighted. Director Carl Watt said: “Although we await further decisions from the assembly and details on the next steps, we hope that in 30 years’ time this will be regarded as a storm in a teacup.”