Cardinal Keith O’Brien declares war on gay marriage

Leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholic Church has promised an ‘unprecedented backlash’ if marriage equality is legalized

08 JULY 2012 | BY JOE MORGAN

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the man that compared legalizing gay marriage with bringing back slavery, has declared war.

The leader of Scottish Roman Catholic Church has warned of an unprecedented backlash if Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, presses ahead with plans to legalize gay marriage.

The Sunday Times reports O’Brien has revealed a strongly-worded letter to be read out on 26 August, on a day he calls ‘Support Marriage Sunday’, in each of the church’s 500 Scottish parishes.

It will urge Catholics to donate money to help fund a £100,000 advertising campaign against the plans.

O’Brien said: ‘Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meeting any cost in its defense.’

‘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 defense of marriage,’ he added.

Scotland’s ministers will announce the results of the wide spreading consultation this month, with a finalized bill likely to appear by 2013.

Unlike England and Wales’ legislation, it is planned Scottish churches will be able to bless gay unions but would be free to opt-out.

A Catholic Church spokesman said: ‘This is a straight-forward plan by the church to up the stakes in the war on gay marriage.’

In a recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, there was 61% support for the legislation and just 19% opposition.

via Gay Star News.

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2 thoughts on “Cardinal Keith O’Brien declares war on gay marriage”

  1. More loud huffing and puffing from Cardinal O’Brien won’t make any real difference to the plans to introduce marriage equality in Scotland.

    Will a majority of members of the Scottish Parliament really be persuaded to change their votes by some advertising and vague threats of ‘an unprecedented backlash’? That’s unlikely, when the Scottish petition against marriage equality managed to collect only 60,000 signatures from both Catholics and the Church of Scotland. The majority (61%) of Scottish public opinion, including among Catholics, favours marriage equality, and a majority of members of the Scottish Parliament have already pledged to vote for marriage equality. The Cardinal conspicuously failed to persuade most Catholics to sign his petition and I think he’ll struggle to raise £100,000. Even that amount will buy little advertising and campaigning.

    What makes Parliaments think again is by convincing members through the force of persuasive arguments and by realistic threats to their electoral majorities. The Church hasn’t mounted a convincing case against extending equality. The 2015 election in Scotland will not be decided by people angered by marriage equality but by votes on the big political questions in three years time – the state of the economy and the desire for greater Scottish independence.

    The Equality Network Policy co-ordinator Tom French 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 deprivation are on the rise, surely there are better things that this money could be spent on.”

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    1. Agreed, Chris.

      The Cardinal’s huffing and puffing stand in stark contrast to what is happening in other denominations, where there is steady progress not just to accepting civil recognition of our relationships, but to explicitly celebrating them in church (see my main post on this,Progress towards (Church) Marriage Equality earlier today). O’Brien is not just falling behind the rest of the Christian Church and secular society – he is falling behind his own Catholic Church – most of whose members support full marriage rights for all.

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