Church of Scotland’s first openly gay minister enters civil partnership

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As the Church of Scotland’s first openly gay minister, Reverend Scott Rennie officially entered into a civil partnership with his partner, Dr. David Smith, on Sunday.

“We were very keen to have a private celebration, without the glare of publicity,” said Rennie at the ceremony. “It was a great day for us both, and we were delighted to be celebrating it here in the city.”

A part of the Queen’s Cross congregation in Aberdeen, Rennie became the first openly gay minister in 2009.

“I am very grateful to my congregation and many others in the city and beyond, for all their support and kindness over these last few years,” Rennie concluded as he was congratulated with a round of applause.

This issue is still a divisive one in Scotland. While the Church’s General Assembly passed a ruling allowing the ordination and appointment of ministers in LGBT relationships last month, ten congregations may leave because of it.

“Although we understand only around 10 out of 1,400 congregations are considering leaving, we value the fellowship we share with all our members and would be sad if they left,” said a representative of the Church of Scotland in a statement.

“We believe any decision to leave would be premature as the Church at its recent General Assembly decided to uphold its traditional doctrine on ministers in same sex relationships while taking longer to consider whether to allow individual congregations the option of calling a minister in a same sex relationship. No final decision has been made.”

As the moderator of the debate, Reverend Lorna Hood expected the division following the General Assembly’s decision. 

“This was a major breakthrough for the Church but we are conscious that some people remain pained, anxious, worried and hurt,” she told BBC News last week. “We continue to pray for the peace and unity of the Church.”

429Magazine

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