A leader of the Church of Scotland, who convenes the church’s Theological Forum, told the General Assembly there is no theological reason to oppose same-sex marriages in the Church, as he presented a report that proposes the governing body approve a detailed study of how such ceremonies could be allowed.
“We see this as permissive rather than directive,” the Very Rev. Iain Torrance told the assembly, according to BBC. “We say that after reflection we can see no sufficient theological reason for the Church now not to authorize specific ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings, if doing so does not prejudice the position of those who decline to do so for reasons of conscience.”
Torrance added, “I hope, I pray, we are moving to a different stage in this long argument. We can begin perhaps by saying gently to those with whom we have disagreed, I am sorry. That notion of an apology is directly linked to taking this into a non-binary stage and trying to think these pieces differently with a different perception.”
There was no opposition from the assembly to the proposed apology, according to The Guardian.
The report says that individual ministers and deacons who do not want to conduct gay marriages due to their conscience must not be forced to do so.
To deal with the opposition, the report also states, “For example, we do not believe that extension of marriage to two persons of the same gender opens the door to a rights-based argument that marriage should be extended to polyamorous unions. Nor, for example, do we think the door should be open to marriage with robots. Consent within a covenanted relationship between two persons remains at the heart of our understanding.”
The Rev. Dale London, a minister who is opposed to the idea of allowing same-sex marriage in the Church, was quoted as saying that homosexual activity is “contrary to the Word of God … it is sinful. … We cannot call good what God has called evil.”