Sunday, August 26th, was declared National Marriage Day by the Catholic hierarchy in Scotland, and a letter denouncing the country’s proposed marriage equality legislation was read aloud in the 500 Catholic parishes there.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail quoted the letter in part:
“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.”
The newspaper also reported the government’s response:
“The Scottish government later issued a statement reiterating its intentions to legalise same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – because ‘it is the right thing to do’.
“However it was quick to stress that no clergy would be forced to carry out the ceremonies in a church. The issue remains under consultation in England and Wales.
“A government spokesman said: ‘We are equally committed to protecting religious freedom and freedom of expression, and ensuring that religious celebrants opposed to same-sex marriage do not have to solemnise same-sex ceremonies.’ “
The Washington Post reports that Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien had strong words about marriage equality:
“Last week, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who heads the Catholic Church in Scotland, described same-sex marriage as a ‘grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.’ ”
“At the same time, O’Brien broke off talks over the issue with First Minister Alex Salmond, Scotland’s political chief.”
The BBC carried reaction from a top gay leader in Scotland:
“The Equality Network, which is campaigning in support of same-sex marriage in Scotland, said politicians should stand firm over the plans.
“Tom French, the charity’s policy co-ordinator, 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.’ “
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry