Church of Scotland response to proposed same sex marriage legislation

The Church of Scotland has said tonight, Wednesday 20 November, that it stands within the mainstream Christian belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Commenting after the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee approved Stage One of a bill which could in the future result in same sex marriage becoming legal by 2015 Rev Dr Alan Hamilton said: “Until any future General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decides otherwise, that remains our position. But our commitment to care for all people, gay and straight is no less. We stand against homophobia.”

Dr Hamilton, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Legal Questions Committee added:  “We also recognise that there is a wide spread of public opinion  about whether legalising same sex marriage is the right thing, and that spread of public opinion is reflected among members of our congregations across the country.  One thing is very clear and that is there is not unanimous support for this legislation in Scotland.”

“As the bill progresses through Holyrood, The Church of Scotland will continue to be a constructive voice in the national debate about it.  We would also seek robust and detailed legal assurances and protection for those who do not wish to conduct same sex marriages as a matter of conscience.”

“The Church is conducting a wide-ranging review of marriage but there are no plans on the table for the Church to stop conducting marriages.”