Capital Kirk members back proposal for gay ministers

The proposal to accept gay ministers will now go to the General Assembly in May. Picture: Ian rutherford
The proposal to accept gay ministers will now go to the General Assembly in May. Picture: Ian rutherford
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KIRK members in the Capital have given their clear backing for gay ministers, according to voting figures released by the Church of Scotland.

There was also grassroots backing for the proposal in East Lothian and Midlothian during debates at local level, but a narrow vote in West 
Lothian against permitting gay ordination.

The figures show 32 of the Kirk’s 45 presbyteries across Scotland voted in favour of the change and 13 against, which means the proposal to accept gay ministers will now go to the General Assembly in May for 
final approval.

In Edinburgh, the presbytery vote was almost two to one – 115 to 59 – in favour of gay 
ordination. Lothian presbytery, which covers East Lothian and Midlothian, voted in a similar way by 52 to 26.

In West Lothian, however, the vote was almost even – 28 in favour but 29 against.

The referral to presbyteries came after last year’s Assembly agreed a compromise which reaffirmed the church’s traditional teaching on marriage, but said individual congregations could choose a minister who was in a civil partnership.

In the grassroots vote, a total of 1391 individuals voted in 
favour and 1153 against – which equates to 54.6 per cent for and 45.4 per cent against. This year’s Assembly is now expected to endorse the change.

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com