Church of Scotland votes to allow same-sex weddings

The Church of Scotland has voted to allow Ministers to conduct same-sex weddings in its churches.

The 2022 General Assembly voted to redefine marriage by 274 to 136 votes.

The Recognition of Marriage Services Act (Act I 1977) will be amended to ditch the words “husband and wife”, only referring to the parties as “each other”.

‘Rewrite Scripture’

A report to the General Assembly revealed that twelve out of 41 presbyteries opposed the redefinition of marriage, with one stating: “what is being proposed is contrary to scriptural teaching”.

Revd Phil Gunn of Rosskeen Parish Church criticised the vote for “stating loud and clear that the Bible, God’s word, is no longer our authority, that it’s OK for us to pick and choose what we like and ignore the rest, that it is OK for us to rewrite Scripture so that it looks good in the eyes of a society”.

He emphasised that the call to love others “does not mean we are to conform to the ways of society and the world”.

stating loud and clear that the Bible, God’s word, is no longer our authority


The move was expected after a majority of presbyteries had already indicated their support last month.

At the time, The Christian Institute’s Scotland Officer Nigel Kenny called it “a very sad development”, adding “it seems that the majority of presbyteries are more interested in taking their cue from culture rather than Christ”.

Ministers wishing to conduct a same-sex ceremony will be able to make their application to the Principal Clerk, who will then make the application to the Registrar General for Scotland.

Ministers and deacons who do not wish to participate will be protected by a conscience clause in the legislation, meaning they will not be forced to conduct or be involved in the arrangements for same-sex weddings.

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