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Roman Catholic Church of Scotland declares ‘war on gay marriage’

Sunday, July 8, 2012

EDINBURGH, Scotland — The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and the most senior Catholic in the United Kingdom has declared “war on gay marriage,” pledging to spend another £100,000 in its campaign against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Scotland.

Speaking in today’s Sunday Times, Cardinal Keith O’Brien warned the Scottish Government that it will face an “unprecedented backlash” from the Catholic Church in Scotland if it goes ahead with plans to legalize same-sex marriage, claiming “marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defense.”

Dan Littauer

Campaign against gay marriage billboard by the Catholic Church, in front of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The Catholic Church said it will spend an additional £100,000 (approximately $154,000 USD) on an advertising campaign against the plans, on top of the £50,000 it has already spent against marriage equality in Scotland.

The Equality Network, the LGBT equality charity that campaigns for equal marriage in Scotland, slammed the move as “aggressive, undemocratic and unchristian” and urged the Scottish Government to “stand up for equality” rather than “give in to threats.”

The Equality Network alleges that the leadership of the Catholic Church in Scotland has a wider “anti-gay agenda,” pointing out that in addition to opposing same-sex marriage, the Church previously ran expensive campaigns against the equal age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, civil partnerships, and same-sex adoption.

Previously Cardinal O’Brien has described same-sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion.” In December, he said the introduction of Civil Partnerships had been a mistake, arguing the law should never “facilitate” same-sex relationships.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

“These measures were not in the best interests of our society. The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual well being of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction,” O’Brien said.

Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, 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 unchristian 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. We know that two-thirds of Scots, and a majority of Scottish Catholics, support same-sex marriage. We trust that the Scottish Government will make its decision based on democratic principles and the evidence, and not who can spend the most money. We urge the Scottish Government to stand up for equality and not give in to threats,” said French.

The public consultation on same-sex marriage closed in December with over 50,000 responses. The Scottish Government is due to publish the results and announce its decision this month.

In June the Equality Network announced that a majority of MSPs had signed its Equal Marriage Pledge, committing themselves to voting in favour of same-sex marriage. 74 MSPs have now said they will vote in favor, whilst just 9 remain opposed.

Opinion polls have shown consistent public support for same-sex marriage in Scotland. The most recent poll was conducted in mid-June by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Equality Network. It showed record support with 64 percent of Scots in favor of a change in the law, and just 26 percent opposed. Separate polls conducted over the past two years by Populus, YouGov, Angus Reid, and the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, have all shown similar levels of support.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey also showed that a majority of Scottish Catholics support same-sex marriage with 57 percent in favor and just 25 percent opposed.

The Equality Network is committed to working with MSPs to secure a Members Bill if the Scottish Government decides against proposing equal marriage legislation.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. Bring it on bitches.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:00pm
  2. Lets declare war on the Catholic Church

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:00pm
  3. War back at you on st8 people

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:00pm
  4. Declaring War? Not very Christian. And I have no doubt that Jesus would be highly disappointed in the Church for doing so. Stupid people.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:01pm
  5. This from men in skirts who wear dresses to church.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:01pm
  6. There’s an Equal Marriage event at Scottish Parliament tomorrow, so get down there if you’re in the area.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:03pm
  7. Bring it on.. if US congress can be overcome, so can a bigoted church leader.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:03pm
  8. It’s sad to think they declare war on us… They will suffer!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:03pm
  9. So incredibly stupid. Words fail me. As someone else posted, bring it on.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:03pm
  10. With the way the catholic church is losing its worshipers who finally woke up and know that they are NOT preaching GODS LAW… OR WORD… they R not a concern to the gay community….

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:04pm
  11. I’m Roman Catholic. Oh look, another reason to be ashamed of my church. You know, besides the fact that the Fathers rape little boys. -.-

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:04pm
  12. Catholics can be suck fuckers.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:05pm
  13. dont go to church and hit the church in its pocket no money no problem

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:06pm
  14. while they cover up child abuse/rape. Must be God’s policy!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:06pm
  15. I will say it again, if there was no religion we would not be having these problems! Wake up and see it for what it is!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:07pm
  16. COMING FROM RAPISTS, THE POPE CAN GO TO HELL, THAT IS DISGUSTING

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:07pm
  17. Why don’t they complain about the adultery that straights commit every day?

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:09pm
  18. Silly people, by kicking up sand about gay issues, they are distracting us from more pertinent issues – such as heterosexual adultery and paedophilia within the church…. If these fucks would just read their own instruction manual…. “Step 1: Remove timber from eye. Step 2: See to mote in neighbor’s eye….”

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:11pm
  19. I am so anti-church I could just shit!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:12pm
  20. I agree with scott hoffman. I thought their God said “love everybody,” guess not.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:12pm
  21. Is there anything that the Church hasn’t boycotted over the years?

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:16pm
  22. …just one more reason to NOT be catholic!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:16pm
  23. Wow. So the Head of the Church requires the Government to protect him from catching “teh Gay”.
    I don’t think other people are his problem; I think HE is his problem. How many pedophiles did he hide and transfer, eh?

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:16pm
  24. it doesn’t matter. most of the world can’t understand a thing a Scottish person is saying anyway ;)

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:19pm
  25. What. the. actual. fuck.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:21pm
  26. hope they go poor fighting this.!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:22pm
  27. All that is irrelevant until there’s no more boy-fucking on THEIR part, I think

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:24pm
  28. And church didn’t talk about Love and Forgive and Peace? mmm how ironic !

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:24pm
  29. Ugh its times like these that I’m embarrassed to be a catholic

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:28pm
  30. The way people are leaving t he catholic church who cares they won’t exist in another 30 years. At least in the USA

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:29pm
  31. Oh careful guys, we got a bad-ass over there. >_>

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:31pm
  32. Scotland….another place I won’t spend my vacation money…Thank You for making the choice easier!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:37pm
  33. Perhaps they should focus on the rampant pedophilia harming children in their own organization before meddling in the relationships of consenting adults. Much better use of their resources.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:37pm
  34. Make LOVE not war! Wouldn’t it make more moral sense for them to spend their money on hunger, drug addiction, or medical care?! Why don’t they concentrate on getting their priorities straight, not people!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:39pm
  35. but its ok for the priest to rape lil children church has been crooked since day one

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:39pm
  36. Sad

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:48pm
  37. All this money at their disposal to launch a culture war, but what about “feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.” If Christ showed up on this earth tomorrow, he would not recognise this church as his. It’s time that Christians strive to be more Christ-like.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:49pm
  38. The “moral authority” of the Catholic Church is irrelevant. There is a 50% divorce rate which must include some catholics–which we hear nothing about. They have a crapton of gay priests in their midst who won’t stand up to papal authority. 98% of Catholic women in the USA use or have used birth control. Nobody cares what the Vatican and their automatons dictate. People are fleeing the church in droves and living the life they were meant to be. I left the church almost 30 years ago and never looked back. They should be ashamed of themselves. It’s all about political power and control over people’s sexuality. May they crash and burn.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:51pm
  39. Time for the general public declare war on the catholic church

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:52pm
  40. War seems to be the only thing that is “christian” enough to declare these days! They can all go to hell!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:54pm
  41. If Jesus was God’s only SON… And we are all God’s CHILDREN… Then we’re all really lesbian women.
    TROLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 2:01pm
  42. “don’t let priests near your kids”

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 2:13pm
  43. Ugh… Seriously, these people need to understand that they see marriage a they believe. There are many other beliefs that people have out there. What about them? So is this church doing whats really for the better, or for whats best for their own religious beliefs? They need to stop saying that marriage is under attack like its a universal truth. Not everyone believes that and just because thr LGBT community can get married doesnt mean tht their idea of marriage is destroyed. We are only wanting it to be legalized, not accpeted in your religion. Legalization and religion are two different things. How is it affecting your religion? U can still choose to not marry ppl frm the lgbt community. Religion is not the law.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 2:20pm
  44. God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, dose not create man and man or dose thee create woman and woman, but thee dose created man and woman to be together. Gay is sodomy and sacrilege before God.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 2:28pm
  45. It’s actually none of the church’s business. No one is demanding that the church conduct a religious marriage ceremony to anyone they don’t want to. I can’t imagine any gay couple would even want to step foot into an unwelcoming church – blech! The marriage ceremony that gives equal civil and legal rights is what is being fought for. The church is not the state, nor should it be. One particular, rather dogmatic and intolerant religion had better not have right to hold an entire society hostage and dragged down to its level.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 3:25pm
  46. They should declare war on the priests that have been arrested for sexual abuse.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 3:46pm
  47. The Gay people of Earth Declare the Roman Catholic Church invalid

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 4:57pm
  48. Sad, that the church would take this stand, but then look at how they treat women, second class citizens.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 6:06pm
  49. This makes me laugh… the statistics are NOT on their side… why waste money like that?

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:31pm
  50. Tyson are you for or against what LGBTQ stands for and their agenda to become acceptable and more powerful in all realms of life? If you are for them then I am going to ask Mr. Charley to explain to you what God’s Word has to say about that lifestyle. Can’t let the devil mess up your mind.

    Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 7:56am
  51. they need to focus on helping the poor and down-trodden instead of spending money on oppressing human rights and i cant stand the church at all its evil and needs to stay out of government

    Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 10:35am
  52. How about declaring war on pedophelia!! assholes.

    Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:04pm