Church of Scotland emblem | Dundee Presbytery | 14267
On 20 May 2013 the General assembly of the Church of Scotland voted to allow congregations to admit openly gay ministers under certain circumstances. Their decision was seen as a radical departure from more than 450 years of orthodoxy set in train by the protestant reformer John Knox.
Scott Rennie | Uncredited photographer/Sun | 14268
The vote ends the four-year controversy which split the church after an openly gay minister Scott Rennie was selected to lead Queen’s Cross parish in Aberdeen in 2009. It led to six Ministers and two congregations leaving the Church.
In 2011 the general assembly voted to allow gay ministers already in post to remain in place, so long as they were in openly-declared civil partnerships or celibate, and had been ordained before 2009.
The general assembly was addressed by the Rev Elizabeth Spence, a lesbian minister from Ibrox in Glasgow.
“For me, there is nothing bigger than whether I’m accepted in this church or not, because I am a gay woman,” she said, adding: “It’s now time; it’s time to decide, so those of who are in this limbo can get under the wire.”