The Church of Scotland (CofS) has announced that it will consider ordaining ministers who are in a same-sex marriage.
Yesterday the Kirk’s General Assembly agreed that it would consult local areas on the matter.
This follows soon after last week’s vote to allow gay ministers who are in civil partnerships to be ordained.
Opponents within the CofS have warned that the move is contrary to God’s law and will only lead to further disunity.
Since the vote on civil partnerships last Saturday, 74 ministers and elders have formally lodged their dissent.
Reverend Mike Goss, spokesman for Covenant Fellowship Scotland – a group formed to oppose a move away from biblical doctrine within the CofS – said this opposition was significant:
“This is a clear sign of the strength of feeling among commissioners – it is a substantial response”.
Need for reformation
He continued: “I think it was important that people signed the dissent so folk know this was not just something that was accepted”.
Revd Goss said that some of those who expressed opposition are considering leaving the denomination but noted that many will stay to “fight on” for reformation.
More than 20 ministers have already left the CofS over the issue of practising gay clergy, a process started by the appointment of Scott Rennie to an Aberdeen congregation in 2009.
The Kirk will not make a final decision on whether to appoint ministers who are in a same-sex marriage until presbyteries have had their say on the matter.
The presbyteries, local governing bodies of the Church of Scotland, have been asked to report back by the end of the year.