Church ‘no’ to gay marriage in Scotland: The Church of England Newspaper, August 5, 2012 p 6. August 13, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Scottish Episcopal Church.
Tags: gay marriage, Mark Strange, Nicola Sturgeon
The Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) has restated its opposition to the Scottish Government’s plan to introduce legislation creating same-sex marriage.
In a statement released last week the SEC said that it would “engage with the Government’s consultation process on the draft Bill when it is published” and would issue a formal response through its Faith and Order Board, but the mind of the church was expressed through its canons which did not contemplate same-sex marriage.
On 25 July 2012 the Scottish Government said it would legalise same-sex marriage. “We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships,” Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.
“We believe that this is the right thing to do.”
The announcement came after Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would push legislation through Parliament creating gay marriage in England. Speaking to members of a gay community group in London, the prime minister lauded the changes in equality legislation in recent years and stated “I just want to say I am absolutely determined that this coalition government will follow in that tradition by legislating for gay marriage in this parliament.”
A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland responded to the government’s plans saying: “The Scottish government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale. However, the church looks much further than the short-term electoral time-scales of politicians.
“We strongly suspect that time will show the church to have been completely correct in explaining that same-sex sexual relationships are detrimental to any love expressed within profound friendships.
“However, in the short term and long term the church does not see same-sex marriage as an appropriate and helpful response to same-sex attraction.”
The Church of Scotland also objected to the plans for same-sex marriage. The Rev. Alan Hamilton stated “We are concerned the Scottish government is rushing ahead on something that affects all the people of Scotland without adequate debate and reflection.”
In its December 2011 submission to the Scottish Government on same-sex marriage, the SEC stated its “Canon on Marriage currently states that marriage is a ‘physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and as a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God’.”
Bishop Mark Strange of Moray, Ross & Caithness noted: “The Canon on Marriage is clear in its wording and that has given the working group set up by the Faith and Order Board a common basis on which to discuss the issues raised in the Government’s Paper. The Church’s current position is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.”