A historic moment in the movement to have same-sex marriages recognised in church took place in St Paul’s Cathedral in Dundee.
Paul Hastie and Steven Gray were married in Dundee’s registry office, before the first ever service of blessing was held in the cathedral on Saturday.
The day was an important one for the Scottish Episcopal Church, which has not yet agreed to solemnise same-sex marriages but is considering changing its rule stating a marriage has to be between “one man and one woman”.
Conducting the service, the Very Rev Jeremy Auld said: “Sadly at this point in the law we cannot yet marry them here but we can give them the Church’s blessing on their marriage and I’m really pleased to do this.
“This is a pretty historic moment in this church and this cathedral, as it is the very first in Dundee and most of Scotland. Finally we in the Church can celebrate human love as a gift from God irrespective of gender.”
More than 100 people turned out for the religious service and gave support.
Afterwards Paul and Steven said they were delighted to be able to have the religious ceremony in the cathedral and to be playing a part in history.
Paul said: “This is a momentous occasion and a first for the Scottish Episcopal Church in Dundee and the cathedral’s 160-year history.”
The church has played a part in Paul’s life since he joined the choir aged 12.
He said: “For us to have our ceremony in this building was so important. It has been a long, hard slog, but love is love, regardless of gender.”
Steven said the day had been “amazing from start to finish” and added: “It is not often you get to be a part of making history. I really hope this helps move things forward and there comes a day when marriage is just marriage, without the need to say ‘same-sex’ marriage.”
Mr Auld said some people had been shocked by the church conducting a same-sex service.
He said: “Many who are shocked, whether in a good way or a bad way, will say that the Bible condemns same-sex relationships, and yes it does, in the Old Testament, along with a list of prohibitions including wearing cotton and wool together, or going near a menstruating woman.
“We have learned such rules were of their time and place, and all these Biblical references have nothing to do with stable and loving relationships. Paul and Steven’s is such a relationship.”