At present the Law of the Church of Scotland only allows ministers and deacons to marry opposite-sex couples.
However, in May 2021 The General Assembly voted 319 to 217 to approve draft legislation that would allow ministers of Word and Sacrament and deacons to marry same-sex couples if they wish. The legislation includes safeguards in accordance with Section 9 (1A) of the Marriage Scotland Act.
In May 2018 The General Assembly voted 345 by 170 to instruct the Legal Questions Committee of the Church of Scotland to prepare this legislation. It was supposed to be brought to the General Assembly in 2020, but the cancellation of the GA due to the COVID-19 outbreak meant it had to be pushed back a year.
The Church recognises that there are diverse views on the subject of same-sex marriage. We are committed to ensuring that debates on this subject are held in a spirit of humility and grace, that the tone and tenor of discussions are civil and people are respectful of those who hold opposing views.
Documents and supporting material relating to the Church's position on same sex marriage
- Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act – Advice from the Principal Clerk, 31 March 2014
- Consultation response, 19 March 2013
- Full Consultation response, 1 December 2011
- Legal Questions Committee, May 2021