Why is the Church of Scotland silent on gay marriage?
The Westminster Confession remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and it states rather unequivocally in Chapter XXIV: "Marriage is to be between one man and one woman...". Now, this is as ‘bigoted’ and redolent of the ‘Dark Ages’ (cf Lynne Featherstone MP) as the canonical positions of the churches of England and Rome. Since CofS law has not been amended (and there being no plans to do so), this is what should be taught from its pulpits and advocated by its leadership. The curious thing is that on neither the C4M petition nor the Scotland4Marriage petition has any senior representative of the Church of Scotland reiterated the orthodox position of their Church.
There have been rumours that the CofS National Youth Assembly, which operates under the aegis of the Mission and Discipleship Council, includes a group leader who once worked for Stonewall and who might be in a position to influence the agenda. Further, Fiona Fidgin (of that same Council) last year prevented one delegate from debating the issue at all, and her support for same-sex marriage is well known.
It is curious that, while the leaders of the churches of England and Rome are making their positions clear, the Church of Scotland is mute; its Moderator and chief spokesman has gone trappist. There is a sense in which silence may be taken as indifference or even assent.
Perhaps the Rt Rev’d David Arnott might care to clear up the ambiguity?