Catholic Church steps up gay marriage attack

Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti The archbishop is urging all Catholics to oppose the planned legislation

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The Catholic Church in Scotland has stepped up its campaign against proposals to allow gay marriage.

The Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, has written to every parish in Scotland, urging all Catholics to oppose the planned legislation.

He said the Scottish government did not have a mandate to "reconstruct society on ideological grounds".

The Scottish government is holding a consultation on whether same-sex marriage should be introduced.

Archbishop Conti has urged Catholics to complete a declaration in defence of marriage.

The Catholic Parliamentary Office is to distribute 100,000 campaign postcards encouraging people to submit their declarations to the government's consultation.

Referring to the plans to allow same-sex marriage the archbishop wrote: "The Catholic Church, for one, will not accept it, and indeed will actively campaign against it.

"This cannot be seen to be in any way helpful in fulfilling the broader aim of social cohesion by which government is clearly motivated."

'Create divisions'

He added: "It will act to create larger divisions in society and could lead in the future, as we have seen in some of the legislation to date, to gross allegations of discrimination.

"There will be other consequences in law, and social policies stemming from it which need to be taken into account, for example housing provision, social security entitlements and the legitimate expectations of families for support in having and bringing up children on whom the future of society depends, and for which society should make provision."

On Saturday, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the Catholic church was trying to control opinion.

Tim Hopkins, director of Equality Network, had earlier said same-sex marriage appeared to have majority support in Scotland.

He said: "Amongst Catholics in Scotland, 57% support same-sex marriages and only 25% oppose it, and there were similar sorts of ratios for the other faiths as well."

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