Gay marriage protest cards distributed by Catholic church
THE Catholic church in Scotland is stepping up its opposition to plans for gay marriage by posting a second wave of protest cards.
The 100,000 cards will be sent to 500 parishes as part of the church’s crusade against same-sex marriage.
Other religious groups have asked for thousands of the cards to be posted to them so they can voice their opposition to SNP ministers.
Ministers from the Church of Scotland, which has yet to state its position on the issue, have been asked to be included in the mass mailshot.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has warned the SNP same-sex marriage would be a betrayal of the country’s 750,000 Catholics.
David Cameron announced last week he was planning to change the law in England next month.
The church says it is planning to bombard ministers with thousands of protest cards before the Government consultation ends on December 9.
The cards are designed to be filled in by people who oppose the proposed laws and then returned to the Catholic Church’s parliamentary office, which will present them to the Scottish Government.
Cardinal O’Brien said: “We have been over-whelmed at the take-up and it’s crystal clear that it underlines the strength and depth of the opposition to same-sex marriage.
“So, this week we will be sending out a second wave of postcards as many parishes have run out.”
A Catholic Church spokesman said: “Religious groups concerned at the Scottish Government’s same-sex proposals have made requests for around 2,000 of our protest cards.”
The Church of Scotland is due to have talks with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday, before going public with its stance.
It admitted several of its ministers had joined the campaign, saying they were entitled to protest as the issue was a matter of ‘conscience.’
The Scottish Government launched a 14-week consultation on gay weddings in September, insisting no firm decisions had been made.
A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “The Church of Scotland has always supported and promoted the concept of Christian marriage between a man and a woman.
“We will make a properly considered response well within the 14 week consultation period.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “All views will be listened to, no decisions have been taken.”
Green MSP Patrick Harvey has attacked the campaign as ‘negative, saying: “There are people in Scotland whose religion motivates them to devote their time to making this world a better place for everyone; issues from global poverty and climate change, to the peace movement and protection for asylum seekers,” he said.
“It’s truly sad that with this deeply negative campaign, a handful of cardinals can undermine that work by pretending that the great moral issues of our age are all about who goes to bed with whom, or whether gay people should be treated equally.
“I hope they eventually get over this hang-up they seem to have, but, in the meantime, I’m confident that parliament will continue to work towards equality with the support of most Scots.”
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