The Scottish Episcopal church has responded defiantly to de facto sanctions imposed on it by the global Anglican communion over its decision to allow same-sex marriages, saying “love means love”.
Responding to the move, Mark Strange, the bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and primus of the Scottish Episcopal church, said he recognised that the decision to allow same-sex marriage was “one that has caused some hurt and anger in parts of the Anglican communion”.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted to allow ministers to continue to serve if they are in a gay marriage.The historic vote on the first day of this year’s gathering in Edinburgh draws a line under a row which has split the Kirk for nine years.Commissioners voted by 339 votes to 215 in favour of the move.The decision means that same sex civil marriage will be permitted for ministers.However, they will not themselves be allowed to conduct gay weddings within the church.
Source: – BBC News
The marriage equality juggernaut rolls along:
Scotland’s same-sex marriage bill is passed
A bill which allows same-sex weddings to take place in Scotland has been passed by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
MSPs voted by 105 to 18 in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.
The Scottish government said the move was the right thing to do but Scotland’s two main churches were opposed to it.
The first gay and lesbian weddings could take place this autumn.
Religious and belief bodies can “opt in” to perform same-sex marriages.
Ministers said no part of the religious community would be forced to hold such ceremonies in churches.
During a debate at Holyrood, MSPs rejected amendments which were said to provide “protection” for groups and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage.
The SNP’s John Mason tabled an amendment stating that no-one could be “compelled by any means” to solemnise gay marriage, including by a contract or a legal requirement.
Continue reading : BBC Scotland news
- Historic vote for same-sex marriage (standard.co.uk)
- Same-sex marriage becomes law after vote in Scottish Parliament (news.stv.tv)
- Scotland approves same-sex marriage (wnd.com)
Scottish singer and TV presenter Michelle McManus has said she disagrees with her Catholic Church’s opposition to equal marriage, in a video recorded for the Equality Network’s It’s Time campaign.
In her video, the Glaswegian singer who is best known for winning Pop Idol said: “I disagree with how my own religion views same-sex marriages, but then being a modern Catholic, most modern Catholics do disagree with a lot of these man-made laws.”
She added: “I support equal marriage for all because we live in 2013 and I don’t think any human should be treated any differently from another. I think it’s absolutely absurd that we all don’t have the same human rights.”
McManus is a devout Roman Catholic and performed two songs for Pope Benedict XVI at a Mass in Bellahouston Park as part of the former Pope’s visit to Scotland in 2010.
Studies suggest that a majority of Catholics in Scotland support equal marriage, including the respected Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (2010) which showed 54% of Scottish Catholics support same-sex marriage while only 25% oppose
continue reading at – PinkNews.co.uk.
- Scottish singer Michelle McManus: ‘I’m Catholic and I support equal marriage’ (pinknews.co.uk)
- Michelle McManus promises knockout performance of national anthem ahead of Ricky Burn’s fight at Glasgow’s SECC (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Archbishop Urges More ‘Respectful’ Tone on Gay Marriage (news.queerchurch.com)
The Scottish government has confirmed it will introduce a bill within the month to allow same-sex marriage.
A consultation on the proposed Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill closed in March, but the responses have yet to be published.
Ministers promised to change the law, but also to protect the rights of religious groups who do not want to carry out such ceremonies.
The Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church are against the plans.
Once the legislative proposal is lodged at parliament it will undergo scrutiny before committee members and in the chamber.
From Democracy Live: Alex Neil updates MSPs on gay marriage
The government said the bill would also allow civil ceremonies to take place at a location other than a registrar’s office.
Alex Neil told MSPs that the bill would be introduced in the current parliamentary sessions.
Talks have been taking place with the UK Government because ministers at Holyrood believe an amendment is needed to UK equalities legislation to protect individual celebrants who may not want to conduct same-sex ceremonies even if their church, as an organisation, backs them.
Health secretary Mr Neil said “substantial progress” had been made on the issue in discussions with UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller.
The UK government’s plans to legalise gay marriage cleared the House of Commons last week.
– continue reading at BBC News
- Gay marriage could be legal in Scotland ‘sooner rather than later’, says Health Secretary Alex Neil (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Gay marriage bill comes before MSPs (bbc.co.uk)
- Scottish News: Legalisation of gay marriage ‘soon’ (acadvertiser.co.uk)
DANI Garavelli talks to a gay priest about living in the shadow of shame cast by the conflict of his vocation and his sexuality
LOOKING back from a distance of more than 20 years, Fr Joe can see that his decision to join the priesthood was motivated in part by his homosexuality. Coming of age in the 1970s, when there was still a huge stigma attached to coming out as gay, it provided an alternative to getting married and having children.
“I was hugely idealistic and genuinely believed in the priesthood, but I think it was also the only respectable way to be Catholic and single,” he says. “I wouldn’t have recognised it at the time, but I think I was trying to escape having to tell my family about my sexuality or even having to face up to it properly myself.”
Once ordained, however, he realised being gay in a church which considers homosexuality to be intrinsically disordered brings problems of its own. Prey to the same temptations as everyone else, but unable to talk openly about them, many homosexual priests find themselves feeling undervalued and isolated. Trying to navigate their way in a highly sexualised society, with little or no pastoral support, it’s hardly surprising if they sometimes find it difficult to keep their vows.
“I think celibacy is always a struggle, it’s the same for all priests – in fact it’s the same for married people – you try to keep your integrity, to stay true to what you have been called to, ” says Fr Joe, who was a priest in Scotland but has now moved abroad. “I belong to a religious order that means you live with other guys; it means you have emotional support and your chances of being lonely are less. The ones I feel really sorry for are the diocesan priests who are alone in a parish. I think celibacy must be even more difficult for them. They have no-one to confide in when they are feeling low or horny or any other normal human way of feeling.”
As with any same-sex environment, such as a boarding school or prison, there can also be a kind of “super-heated effect” in the seminary or church where, regardless of sexual orientation, men have crushes on other men and that is more likely to spill over into sexual behaviour when the whole subject of sexuality is taboo. “I think that is something gay men in the Church are prone to,” Fr Joe says. “Because the subject is hidden, it creates this secret club kind of environment because priests who are gay are only likely to be open with other priests who are gay, you become part of a secret club, not because you want to, but because your peers are your support group.”
Fr Joe’s experiences are not rare. Studies have suggested the priesthood attracts a disproportionate number of gay men, with Dominican Friar-turned-journalist Mark Dowd suggesting earlier this week, the figure could be as high as 50 per cent. Such statistics have become headline news because even as the Church has become increasingly strident in its position on such issues as gay marriage it is being claimed that an increasing number of homosexual priests, Bishops and even Cardinals are breaking their vow of chastity.
– continue reading at Scotsman.com.
The Scottish government has ruled out a referendum on the proposed introduction of same-sex marriage.
On Monday, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, urged the Scottish government to hold a public vote on the proposals.
A government spokesman, speaking after a cabinet meeting, said the issue was a matter of conscience, not constitution.
He said a decision on whether to bring forward a bill on same-sex marriage would be made before the end of July.
Members of the cabinet met in Edinburgh to discuss the issue.
After the meeting, the spokesman said: “This is an important issue and it is right that cabinet takes the time to get both the principle and the detail of the decision right.
“During the discussion, recent calls for a referendum on the subject were carefully considered. However, cabinet views this as an issue of conscience not constitution.
“Given that if a bill is brought forward it should in the view of the Scottish government be determined by a free vote, cabinet has concluded that a referendum would not be appropriate.
“Cabinet has now asked a cabinet sub-committee, led by the deputy first minister, to further examine some particular issues of detail before a final decision is reached.
“We remain committed to publishing the consultation responses and our clear decision on the way forward before the end of this month.”
-more at BBC News
The Scottish cabinet is expected to discuss plans to legislate for same-sex marriage when it meets later.
SNP ministers, who favour the move, are due to announce legislation this week in the wake of a consultation which resulted in 80,000 responses.
The proposals, which would see Scotland become the first part of the UK to introduce the policy, have provoked opposition from some religious groups.
The Catholic Church and Church of Scotland strongly oppose the policy.
Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships and the Holyrood government has insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.
The introduction of gay marriage has been backed by a “rainbow coalition” of organisations, including The Equality Network, Amnesty International, Unison and the Humanist Society of Scotland, as well as political parties.
Faith groups, including the United Reformed Church, the Quakers, Buddhists and the Pagan Federation also support the move
– BBC News.
- Progress towards (Church) Marriage Equality
- Cardinal Calls for Gay Marriage Referendum
- Children’s Charity Barnardo’s Chief Joins Gay Marriage Row
THE Catholic Church will today intensify pressure on Alex Salmond over same-sex marriage by calling for a referendum on the proposals, before the First Minister’s flagship independence vote.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has attacked SNP plans.
The leader of Scotland’s Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has warned the First Minister that “far more people” are concerned about same-sex ceremonies than independence.
A spokesman for the Church told The Herald it wanted a public vote on the issue before a referendum on independence.
Ministers are expected to announce proposals for gay marriage after a Cabinet meeting tomorrow. They are under intense pressure from opponents, including campaign groups and churches. More than 27,000 people have signed a petition against the plans.
However, the First Minister is facing calls from many within his own party to press ahead with the proposals. At the weekend Jim Eadie, the SNP Edinburgh Southern MSP, said: “The message to the Scottish Government should be: ‘Stand firm, hold your nerve.'”
Muslim leaders and the Catholic Church have denounced the plans and accused Scottish ministers of offering “worthless” assurances over opt-outs.
Cardinal O’Brien, who has previously described the proposals as madness, specifically linked gay marriage and independence in a statement last night calling for a referendum.
He pointed out that almost 80,000 people responded to an official consultation on same-sex marriage while 26,000 have responded to the one on independence.
Cardinal O’Brien said: “The Scottish Government’s consultation on redefining marriage had three times more respondents than the consultation on the constitution, demonstrating clearly that far more people are concerned about fundamental matters of morality at the present time.
“Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue. Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide.”
-full report at Herald Scotland.
- Cardinal Keith O’Brien declares war on gay marriage (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- Cardinal in gay wedding vote call (bbc.co.uk)
- Scottish News: Campaigners hold mock gay wedding outside Holyrood in bid to have same-sex marriage legalised (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Scottish News: Ex-first minister Jack McConnell: It’s time same-sex couple were given legal rights to be married in Scotland (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Scotland’s Roman Catholic Church Declares “War On Gay Marriage” (thinkprogress.org)
Leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholic Church has promised an ‘unprecedented backlash’ if marriage equality is legalized
08 JULY 2012 | BY JOE MORGAN
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the man that compared legalizing gay marriage with bringing back slavery, has declared war.
The leader of Scottish Roman Catholic Church has warned of an unprecedented backlash if Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, presses ahead with plans to legalize gay marriage.
The Sunday Times reports O’Brien has revealed a strongly-worded letter to be read out on 26 August, on a day he calls ‘Support Marriage Sunday’, in each of the church’s 500 Scottish parishes.
It will urge Catholics to donate money to help fund a £100,000 advertising campaign against the plans.
O’Brien said: ‘Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meeting any cost in its defense.’
‘We will use this opportunity to remind Catholics of the importance of marriage as a union of a man and a woman and to urge them to be generous in contributing to a special collection which will be used to support initiatives in defense of marriage,’ he added.
Scotland’s ministers will announce the results of the wide spreading consultation this month, with a finalized bill likely to appear by 2013.
Unlike England and Wales’ legislation, it is planned Scottish churches will be able to bless gay unions but would be free to opt-out.
A Catholic Church spokesman said: ‘This is a straight-forward plan by the church to up the stakes in the war on gay marriage.’
In a recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, there was 61% support for the legislation and just 19% opposition.
via Gay Star News.
- Catholic Nun Challenges Church’s Stance on Gay Marriage (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- Equal Marriage – Scotland goes ahead of England and Wales (queeringthechurch.com)
- UK Religious Leaders Launch Campaign to Back Civil Gay Marriage (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- Nick Clegg backs gay marriage in churches – in break with David Cameron pledge (telegraph.co.uk)
- Eddie Barnes: Forget independence, same-sex marriage is the hottest potato for Scottish politicians (scotsman.com)
- Catholic Church declares same-sex marriage poll “flawed” for returning result they don’t like (secularnewsdaily.com)
- Majority of MSPs back gay marriage (scotsman.com)