Scottish Cardinal Pledges an All-Out Fight Against Marriage Equality

Cardinal Keith O’Brien

Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland has vowed that the Catholic Church in that country will go to any length to oppose marriage equality there, including spending 100,000 British pounds and establishing a special Sunday campaign against equal marriage legislation.

The Scotsman newspaper report quotes O’Brien as saying:

“Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defence.

“The bishops of Scotland are so concerned by threats to marriage that 26 August has been set aside as Support Marriage Sunday.

“We will use this opportunity to remind Catholics of the importance of marriage as a union of a man and a woman and to urge them to be generous in contributing to a special collection which will be used to support initiatives in defence of marriage.”

Equality advocates were quick to denounce O’Brien’s comments.  Tom French, the Equality Network’s policy coordinator said:

“For the Catholic Church to spend another £100,000 fighting LGBT equality in its self-declared war on gay marriage seems to be an aggressive, undemocratic and un-Christian thing to do.

“At a time of financial crisis, when poverty and depravation are on the rise, surely there are better things that this money could be spent on.”

The strong words from O’Brien were not isolated comments.  He previously has compared marriage equality to slavery and described it as a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.”   He has already spent 50,000 British pounds on the campaign to prevent marriage equality.

Polls show that the Scottish population, including Scottish Catholics, support marriage equality.  According to a PinkNews article:

“Opinion polls have shown consistent public support for same-sex marriage in Scotland. The most recent poll was conducted in mid-June by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Equality Network. It showed record support with 64% of Scots in favour of a change in the law, and just 26% opposed. Separate polls conducted over the past two years by Populus, YouGov, Angus Reid, and the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, have all shown similar levels of support.

“The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey also showed that a majority of Scottish Catholics support same-sex marriage with 57% in favour and just 25% opposed.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

9 Responses to Scottish Cardinal Pledges an All-Out Fight Against Marriage Equality

  1. Pauline says:

    So whose 50,000 has he already spent, and do the ‘flock’ get a chance to say whether they want more to go to his personal crusade? It seems to me that withholding the money is a good option. Donate your money directly and have your influence that way.

  2. Marsha West says:

    He should take a lesson from the ancient Canute – try standing on the seashore and commanding the tide to cease. Why not launch a campaign for marriage that focused on the values of fidelity, commitment, and permanence – and leave it at that?? The tide that threatens to engulf society is serial sexual unions without those values . . .

  3. PAT HAUSER says:


  4. […] Cardinal O’Brien has already made several high-profile statements into Scotland’s marriage equality debate, including his recent decision to spend 100,000 British pounds and establish a special Sunday campaign against …. […]

  5. Simon James says:

    I am a celibate, homosexual, Catholic male, and I adhere to the teaching of the Church that homosexuals are called to celibacy. I chose to become a Catholic well after I was aware of my orientation and have for decades lived with the price of fidelity. It has been difficult, especially in this culture which does not value celibacy (a good in itself), and I have struggled much with living my Faith in a culture of license. One thing that helped was writing about it. Eventually, I decided that I should not “hide my lamp under a bushel,” so I put what I thought would be most helpful of my writing up on the web as a form of ministry to others like me. I invite anyone to visit SJ

  6. […] a result. O’Brien has lead Catholic efforts to block legislation granting equal marriage, through sizeable financial commitments and a failed attempt to hold a referendum on the issue in […]

  7. […] top Catholic official, to be open about his own homosexuality. The prelate, who has used strong language to condemn LGBT people, resigned last March after allegations of sexual misconduct with seminarians became public. Irish […]

  8. […] Scottish bishops strongly opposed marriage equality when debate began in 2012, pledging an all out fight against any proposed law and made a failed attempt to put marriage equality to voters in a […]

  9. […] has resigned the “rights and privileges” of a cardinal.  O’Brien had been a harsh critic of LGBT equality, having called homosexuality a “moral degradation” and saying that it “demonstrably […]

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