ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL, in Glasgow, has become the first Anglican cathedral in Britain to offer same-sex couples the opportunity to marry.
The cathedral is already taking bookings from such couples on its website, including one from an English pair who cannot get married in their Church of England parish.
In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church’s General Synod passed a motion to permit clergy to conduct gay weddings (News, 8 June). The legislation came into effect on Tuesday.
Now, the clergy of St Mary’s have been given permission to hold services of marriage for same-sex couples after a vote by the cathedral vestry, which was then approved by the Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, Dr Gregor Duncan.
The Provost, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, said: “It is wonderful that more people now have the chance of coming here for their special day.
“I want to live in a world where same-sex couples can feel safe walking down the street hand-in-hand, and in which they can feel joy walking hand-in-hand down the aisle of a church, too.”
Referring to the booking from a couple in England, Provost Holdsworth said: “We are glad to be able to welcome them and expect there will be many others who will follow them.” The booking form on the cathedral’s website now makes clear that gay as well as straight couples can apply to marry at St Mary’s.
A section of frequently asked questions under a picture of a rainbow flag explains that same-sex couples can exchange rings, say vows, ring bells, have a choir, or organ, or anything else “on the same terms of any other wedding”.
“We believe that gay people and straight people are equally blessed and loved by God, and that the Bible teaches us that this is so,” the web page concludes.