May 25, 2009

Church of Scotland Appoints a Gay Minister

I didn't know the Church of Scotland was "the mother of the Presbyterian churches" until I read it on Box Turtle Bulletin. They were linking to an Associated Press report on Google news:

An openly gay minister on Sunday praised the decision of the Church of Scotland to dismiss a challenge to his appointment by religious conservatives — the latest case involving sexuality to create a division in the Anglican Communion.

The church's ruling body voted 326 to 267 Saturday to support the appointment of the Rev. Scott Rennie, 37, who was previously married to a woman and is now in a relationship with a man.

Rennie was first appointed as a minister 10 years ago, but has faced opposition since he moved to a church in Aberdeen, Scotland, last year. He has been unable to take up his post while the Church of Scotland considered appeals from his critics.

"I'm relieved, humbled, I'm obviously pleased and I'm really looking forward to going to be with my new congregation," Rennie told reporters on Sunday. "I've had a long time to wait, they've had a long time to wait and I'm just glad we can get on with life."

Rennie said he believed religious conservatives were behind attempts to oust him from his post.

"The same talk was about when women were ordained, and I think that argument suits those that don't want any change," he told Britain's Sky News television on Saturday.

Following the vote to back Rennie, Scotland's Equality and Human Rights Commission said the Church of Scotland had proven itself to be "a modern church
for a modern Scotland."

"We are certain that this decision will be welcomed by the majority of Scots and certainly the majority of Queen's Cross parish in Aberdeen who overwhelmingly demonstrated their support for Mr. Rennie," said Alyson Thomson, a commission spokeswoman.

It will be interesting to see if there is any ripple effect on this side of the pond.

Click here to read the rest of the AP report.

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