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You may now kiss the groom! History is made as gay couple marry in the UK's first same-sex church wedding

You may now kiss the groom! History is made as gay couple marry in the UK's first same-sex church wedding
Gay couple were married in church ceremony after rules relaxed in Scotland
Move has been welcomed by equal rights campaigners and some clergy
It could leave the Scottish denomination who held the service facing sanctions

By Richard Spillett for MailOnline
29 September 2017

History has been made after the UK's first same-sex church wedding took place in Edinburgh.

Peter Matthews and Alistair Dinnie were married at St John's Church, run by the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC).

Church authorities voted to amend canon law in June, allowing same-sex couples to be married in church during the General Synod in Edinburgh.

The move made it the first branch of the Anglican faith in the UK to allow same-sex marriages in church in a move that was welcomed by equal rights campaigners.

However, it could lead to action being taken against the church by the Anglican Communion, the international association of the world's third largest Christian movement, at a meeting next week.

The wedding took place on September 16 with other same-sex weddings having been held in SEC churches in Glasgow and Moray since.

The Rev Markus Dunzkofer, the rector at St John's, told The Times: 'I have blessed marriages in other Anglican provinces and always had to stop short of the vows. It felt like something was cut off, like something wasn't right.

'Finally being able to do the whole thing felt like the fulfilment of where the spirit had been telling us to get to. It completely made sense, it all came together.'

SEC members voted to remove the doctrinal clause which stated that marriage is a 'union of one man and one woman', replacing it with a clause which asserts that clergy who do not wish to preside over same-sex weddings will not be compelled to do so 'against their conscience'.

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion said the SEC's decision puts it 'at odds with the majority stance that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman'.

Last year, the US Episcopal Church was suspended from participating in decision making and prevented from representing Anglicans in meetings with other Christians and faith groups after it backed equal marriage.

Rev Dunzkofer told the newspaper he will pray that Anglican leaders do not take action, adding: 'Quite literally, God only knows what will happen.'

Mr Matthews and Mr Dinnie are said to be on honeymoon.


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