The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to back same-sex marriage, making it the first Anglican church in the UK to do so.
The historic decision means that same-sex Christian couples from any Anglican church may ask to get married in a Scottish Episcopal church.
Clergy will have to opt-in to perform same-sex marriages, meaning that any clergy member who disagrees with same-sex marriage will not be forced to perform ceremonies against their conscience.
The decision was reached after debate at the church’s General Synod in Edinburgh, requiring the backing of two-thirds of the houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity.
The Bishop of Edinburgh Dr John Armes said the decision would “protect the consciences both of those who believe that they must not – and of those who believe that they must – offer God’s blessing on a marriage of a same-sex couple”.
Same-sex marriage became legal in the United Kingdom (except in Northern Ireland) in 2014, but now Anglican Christians will have the opportunity to get married in a church.
The issue remains contentious and controversial in the Church of England, with a vote passed against allowing same-sex marriage earlier this year.