Letter is latest step in Scottish Catholic Church’s campaign against gay marriage
A letter was read out in all 500 Scottish Catholic parishes today, criticising the Scottish government’s attempt to legalise gay marriage and declaring the 26th of August “National Marriage Sunday”.
The letter urged parish members to act against all efforts to “re-define” marriage by including gay couples, and the clergy as a whole is calling upon the Scottish government to “sustain rather than subvert” marriage.
The Scottish government says it is right to introduce same-sex marriage, though has made assurances that no member of the clergy would ever be forced to carry out a ceremony against their wishes. The government have promised to bring forward a bill on the issue this year, with the first ceremonies potentially taking place by 2015.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who is the leader of the Scottish church, broke off his discussions with First Minister Alex Salmond on the discussion last week. He once described gay marriage as a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.
Of the letter, O’Brien said: “The Church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality. We promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society.”
Tom French, charity policy co-ordinator of pro same-sex marriage charity The Equality Network, disagreed. He said: “It is increasingly clear that the Church has an anti-gay agenda that it wants to impose on the rest of society. We urge the Scottish government to stand firm on plans to introduce equal marriage and not give in to demands that would discriminate against LGBT people.“