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The end is nigh

The Church of Scotland has got it right, thankfully. They've voted to uphold the appointment of Scott Rennie, an actively gay minister to a church in Aberdeen (as opposed to all the closeted/ celibate ones they already have). Some people appealed against the appointment, and the argument's been bubbling under for a few weeks, and was voted on tonight at the General Assembly. It was closer than I'd have liked - 326 to 267 - but hurray anyway. There have been people talking about schisms and leaving the Church if it let the gays preach, so we'll see what happens. There were protesters at the General Assembly, but only a few of them:



Yeah. Westboro Baptist Church were apparently going to come and protest - they've got a press release that says "WBC TO PICKET SCOTLAND SODOMITE SCOTT RENNIE". God Hates Scotland – Land of the Sodomite Damned. Apparently. You know you've got problems when you've got Westboro on your side. They didn't come over in the end, though, we had our own home-grown homophobes from the Zion Baptist Church in Glasgow - its founder, Jack Glass, was once described by Ian Paisley as "a bit of an extremist". Heh.

Scott Rennie's got his own wikipedia page, I am amused to see, and it's been updated already to show the result of the vote. Apparently he's a Lib Dem and there were counter-protesters from the Lib Dems youth wing there today too (funnily enough, they didn't get on the telly), so yay for them. And yay for the Church of Scotland, which can keep its reputation as the least irritating, bigoted and authoritarian of the churches I know.

Comments

( 5 comments — Comment )
arborophile
May. 24th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
:-)
marrog
May. 24th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Didn't the CoS still blanket-ban the performing of gay marriage ceremonies last year though? It was my understanding that although they have previous performed them (at the discretion of minister and congregation) in the run-up to CPs being legal, they voted shortly after (last year sometimes) and it ended up coming up as a pretty decisive ban (I think to their surprise). I'm convinced that this is the way it went but with all the new stuff on Rennie Google is no help whatsoever. There was a lot less press that time round.

Either way, hopefully this will shake things up, although it should be pointed out that the battle is far from over - the vote to allow Rennie to remain went the way it did on the express understanding that it wasn't to set a precedent regarding practicing gay ministers, but to uphold two decisions made to allow him to become the minister for a specific Church. There was much made of the exceptional circumstances to get this vote through.
pickwick
May. 24th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't know, actually. I thought they'd voted to leave it to the discretion of individual ministers, but hadn't heard of the subsequent ban.

Yeah, they were talking about how this wasn't a precedent (which...kind of isn't how I think precedent works, and surely any other gay prospective minister could sue or appeal if denied the job on that basis), and there's another debate tomorrow on the general principle of what relationships are acceptable for a minister. But still, I'm pleased they won this one.

Edited at 2009-05-24 11:58 pm (UTC)
marrog
May. 25th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
I believe they met later and had a vote and were rather surprised to come out with a ban. They may be quietly ignoring it since - I haven't head much about it - like I said, less press at that point.

I think what they mean is that it doesn't set a precedent that parishes have to accept gay ministers, and they just wanted to be really clear that in this instance what they were voting to do was not "sanction gay ministers" in a blanket type way, but uphold the wishes of that ministers congregation.

In other words, they were covering their arses.
nyarbaggytep
May. 25th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
You know you've got problems when you've got Westboro on your side.
Too true.
I'm glad the decision went the way it did too.
( 5 comments — Comment )

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