Catholic Church Condemns Gay Marriage in Scotland

Last month, the Scottish government announced that it would introduce legislation that would legalize gay marriage in both civil and religious ceremonies. The announcement sparked outrage from some religious leaders, most notably the Catholic church, despite the fact that Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasized no one would be coerced into performing ceremonies because of the new legislation.

The battle has not come to a close yet, with many members of the Scottish Catholic leadership still up in arms about the possibility of gay marriages. The first ceremonies would not be legally performed in churches until 2015, mind you, and would only apply to Scotland and not the greater UK.

The Guardian reports that Scotland’s Catholic bishops composed a letter to be read to 500 of the parishes in Scotland this month condemning gay marriage. The letter specifically draws on the rhetoric of “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman, and is intended to show the “deep disappointment” the Catholic bishops have in the Scottish government, according to the Scottish Catholic Media Office (SCMO).

The newest assault on the legislation and the Scottish government has been headed in part by Cardinal Keith O’Brien who announced his opinion on that matter at a conference this month:

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.

Cardinal O’Brien also announced that a new commission would be created to ensure that the legislation does not pass. According to SCMO, he said:

With this letter we will announce the creation of a National Commission for Marriage and the Family, a body which will be charged with promoting the true nature of marriage, it will develop an online prescence and produce materials and organise events which will help Catholic families to support and sustain marriage.

LGBT rights groups have fired back at the attack on gay marriage, urging the government to hold firm on plans to introduce marriage equality in Scotland. The Guardian notes that around two-thirds of the Scottish population are actually in favor of allowing gay marriage and the government has stated that it will continue with plans to draft the bill before the end of the year.

Officials have made it clear time and time again that the bill will not force any clergy to perform ceremonies, adding that the draft will include “conscious clauses.” What the bill will provide is the option for same-sex couples to have a religious ceremony with a pastor or minister that supports them.

LGBT rights groups have made an extremely salient point during this months-long debate. Many outspoken LGBT rights activists have pointed out that many Catholic and evangelical religious leaders are trying to impose anti-gay rhetoric on the whole of Scottish society, while gay couples hoping to have the right to experience a personal ceremony are trying to do just that: have a ceremony that celebrates their own personal lives and choices.

Tom French of the Equality Network made a statement regarding the newest Catholic attack, saying:

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 [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people.

There seems to be no indication that the Scottish government will change its intentions regarding the new bill. The same case could be made for leaders of the Catholic church in Scotland.

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Photo Credit: Fabio Pozzebom


Stanley J.
Stanley J.4 years ago

smeone mentioned that the pope was hitler jugeng - eg hitler youth corp member

He're what the pope did in 2009

the man is mad. BTW in the article it says that his famil was not a fan of hitler. Whats missing from that statement that I found on another website is that it came from Benedicts Biographer.

BTW the people called the "forgotten victims of the holocaust were the gays - estimates range from 15000 to 90000 to the death camps

Stanley J.
Stanley J.4 years ago

what needs to be condemned is the catholic church - not for just denying gay people legal equality, but for its new but well deserved name

Church of the endless hidden molestation of chidlren by its sex starved priests, even forbidden to masturbate.

Brian C.
Brian C.4 years ago

if Keith O'Brien had a friend like Max Blum,
then there would be none of this controversy at all.

Huber F.
Huber F.4 years ago

isn't this the wrong piff with jiff

Michael G.
Michael T.4 years ago

Oh yes Sara, that's right get back in line, mind your place dog has spoken. Well, not really, man created that god and infused it with positions and words. SO it isn't god Sara, and your saying it is IS the abomination.

Tim Ra
Tim Ra4 years ago

@Sarah ~ Lucky for us that actually use our brain to do critical thinking don't give a flying F%#k what the Bible says about gay marriage. In fact, it doesn't even mention, word for word, that "gay marriage is an abomination".

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago

All Christian churches should condemn gay marriage. Who are we that should tell God, we know better than you? The Bible says it is an abomination and unnatural.

Tim Ra
Tim Ra4 years ago

Hmm, and *complexity*; let’s look at that: It means we are all individuals that are different, much like that of a fingerprint. We think differently and also act differently. What’s another man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and so on. Now, I don’t mean to let my arrogant thoughts go on and on, but how arrogant am I compared to religions that call themselves the *chosen ones*? No human arrogance can touch that, but yet any religion will defend that platform of the *chosen ones* until the end of time!
So, how does that thinking make us equal? It certainly does not teach us of anything Christ was promoting. It does nothing but divide all of us even more, and it’s a fact if you read history. Why would I want to repeat the mistakes of the past, knowing what has already happened in history? Is history not the point to learn from that? If we repeat it, are we no more than the fools that have already repeated it?
The time has come to learn to find peace by coexisting. If none of us are perfect, than so is any religion, cult or belief of any kind. Life is fragile; learn to make it work and love the people around you. ;-)

Tim Ra
Tim Ra4 years ago

For James sake, I should point out that I'm not gay, not that there's anything wrong with that, just thought I should point out that I'm the average, strait guy. I have a daughter to prove it! I just believe everyone, no matter what their religion or sexual preference type, should not be judged by others for their sexual beliefs or practices. Humans are complex, learn to deal with it or get the f**k out of the game!

Tim Ra
Tim Ra4 years ago

@Michael ~ “Tim did you happen to hear that the current pope was a former Hitler Jugend?”

Yes, have actually heard about this since the time he (colonel Click, I mean Clinc) was inducted as the next Pope. Yes, agree that it is rather *creepy* in many ways. Makes one wonder how Catholics dare to call themselves the *chosen religion* considering that they’ve had so many people in power that defy the teachings of what Christ taught them. Sh*t, Jesus was more in touch with humans than any religion has ever taught us. Funny how a holy deity makes more sense than a bunch of man-made doctrines that try to portray Christ.