Gay couples can now get married in Scottish churches

But this vote means that any British Anglican Christians wanting a religious same-sex wedding can now get one by going to the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The "historic" move - making it the first branch of the Anglican faith in the United Kingdom to allow same-sex marriage - has been welcomed by equal rights campaigners.

The proposal was passed with 80 percent support from bishops and laity and 67 percent of the clergy — achieving the required two-thirds majority overall.

Within minutes of the vote, the conservative grouping GAFCON announced Canon Andy Lines as a "missionary bishop" to oversee traditionalist parishes who want to defect from the official Scottish Anglican church.

The Church of Scotland's decision comes after the Church of England released a report back in January that upheld their view that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

The church's presiding bishop, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, called it "a momentous step".

Canon law was changed to remove a doctrinal clause stating that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The revised text of Canon 31 now reads: "In the light of the fact that there are differing understandings of the nature of marriage in this Church, no cleric of this Church shall be obliged to conduct any marriage against their conscience".

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The decisive vote saw the House of Bishops vote 4-1 in favour, the House of Clergy 42-20 in favour, and the House of Laity 50-12 in favour.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Scotland in 2014, shortly after England and Wales, however the Church of Scotland and the Catholic church opposed it, while the Westminster government included in legislation measures that made it illegal for the Church of England to hold same-sex weddings.

Gafcon said: "While Anglican provinces such as the Episcopal Church (USA), Anglican church of Canada, and Scottish Episcopal church are rejecting the authority of the Bible, faithful Anglicans are uniting through Gafcon to proclaim and defend the unchanging truth in a changing world".

"I am very pleased for the couples who can now have their relationships recognised by the church and blessed by God".

"No-one is being asked to change their theology of marriage".

Archbishop Foley Beach, a senior figure in the group, said: "Today's decision by the Scottish Episcopal Church to change the biblical and historic definition of marriage has highlighted the need to respond to the cries and pleas of those Scots who today have been marginalized by their leaders".

The Primus of SEC said it was a "difficult" decision to make and admitted there would be "consequences" for the decision. "We are broken. This schismatic move ... will cause serious harm to our unity". "However this is a matter on which there is real and profound disagreement in the Church of England", the spokesperson said.

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