The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly starts today with a vote on same-sex marriages, a call for a conversion therapy ban and the confirmation of a Declaration of Friendship with the Catholic Church in Scotland as the main points on the agenda.
Earlier this month, the Church of Scotland revealed the majority of the presbyteries are in favour of allowing same-sex marriage after they were asked to express their view on draft legislation drawn up during last year’s General Assembly.
At least 29 presbyteries said they are in favour of bringing forward the legislation while 12 have said they are opposed. A final vote on the issue is expected to take place on Monday.
If passed, ministers will be required to register as a same-sex celebrant and no person would be required to participate in the ceremony or be involved in the arrangements unless they explicitly wish to do so.
The confirmation of a Declaration of Friendship with the Catholic Church in Scotland, which has already been approved, will also be part of Monday’s business. The document seeks to recognise the “hurt and the harm that our forebears did to each other” and “reaffirm that what we hold in common is often greater than what divides us.”
On Tuesday, the Church’s Faith Impact Forum proposal to urge the Scottish government to ban conversion therapy will be debated, as well as the war in Ukraine, support for asylum seekers and progress on work towards Net Zero Church by 2030.
The current Moderator, Lord Wallace of Tankerness will also hand over to his successor Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, minister of St Margaret's Community Church in Dunfermline.