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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 June, 2003, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Kirk 'would appoint' gay ministers
Professor Iain Torrance
Professor Iain Torrace: "Utterly untroubled"
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has said the Kirk would be prepared to appoint an openly gay minister.

Professor Iain Torrance said he would be "utterly untroubled" by the appointment of a homosexual as long as they were "disciplined and effective" in their job.

Prof Torrance's comments, in an interview with the Sunday Times, come as the Church of England conducts a fierce debate on homosexuality following the appointment of its first openly gay bishop.

He said: "The General Assembly accepted in 1994 that congregations should not discriminate against any person on grounds of marital status or sexual orientation, and it seems to me that is a very positive step.

We are utterly untroubled by a person of homosexual orientation who is a minister
Prof Iain Torrance
"In other words, the Church of Scotland is not going to discriminate against a person who is of homosexual orientation as a minister.

"We are utterly untroubled by a person of homosexual orientation who is a minister."

Prof Torrance added: "What is puzzling in a certain sense is why there should be any objection to a person who, although of declared homosexual orientation, is disciplined."

Canon John Jeffrey, who says he is celibate, is due to be ordained as Bishop of Reading in October, despite fierce opposition from some within the Church of England.

Kirk slammed over gay prejudice
08 Jul 01  |  Scotland
Church attacks gay lottery grants
12 Jun 01  |  Scotland

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