Church of Scotland tells government ‘no’ to homosexual ‘marriage’
SCOTLAND, December 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Church of Scotland has said “no” to homosexual ‘marriage’ in its official response to the Scottish Government’s questionnaire concerning the country’s marriage legislation.
“[It is our] bona fide belief that homosexual practice is contrary to God’s will,” stated the Church of Scotland (CoS) in its answer to the questionnaire.
The CoS also said is “contrary to God’s will that Christians should be hostile in any way to a person because he or she is homosexual by orientation and in his or her practice,” adding that it views “homophobia as sinful.”
The CoS based its response on Scriptural references to marriage, saying that scripture operates under the understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The Church also argued that redefining marriage to include homosexual couples may have “significant and, as yet, inadequately considered repercussions” for the well-being of families, communities, and individuals.
The response comes near the end of the Scottish government’s 14-week public consultation on whether to introduce homosexual ‘marriage’ into the country’s laws.
The Church also made it clear that they “cannot agree” to the government’s proposed legislation that would allow civil partnerships to be registered through religious ceremonies, by religious celebrants, or on religious premises.
While the CoS’s official membership is about 464,000 believers, about 9% of Scotland’s total population, a 2001 national census found that 42% of the population claim some form of allegiance to the Church, which is Presbyterian by denomination.
While the CoS has for the time given a clear answer regarding its official position on marriage, it remains to be seen how long that position will be maintained. The CoS admitted that its response “offers the possibility” of changing, calling it a “freeze-frame image” of its “developing response” to the issues surrounding homosexuality. While the CoS claims that its response has “not departed from the traditional Christian position on same-sex relationships” it has at the same time “signalled” that it may be open to considering “civil partnerships.”
The day CoS submitted its response also saw the launch of a national campaign to keep marriage between a man and a woman. Scotland for Marriage defines marriage as “the union of one man to one woman, for life, to the exclusion of all others,” and is backed by both religious and non-religious groups.