Dundee minister to debate Tatchell on gay marriage

Rev David Robertson will debate against Peter Tatchell. Tatchell picture: flickr/mattbuck [CC]
Rev David Robertson will debate against Peter Tatchell. Tatchell picture: flickr/mattbuck [CC]
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ONE of Scotland’s church leaders is going head-to-head with veteran British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell in a live televised debate about the future of marriage.

Rev David Robertson, Free Church minister in Dundee and director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, will square off with Mr Tatchell on Christian broadcaster Revelation TV.

The debate will begin at 9pm on Wednesday, just three weeks after almost 100 MSPs voted to proceed with gay marriage legislation in Scotland.

Rev Robertson said: “There are those who think that the debate about same-sex marriage is over. I disagree - in many ways it has only just begun.

“As the social and economic consequences of this fundamental change to the way our society is structured become increasingly clear, the debate about what marriage is and how society should be governed will continue.”

Last year the Greens’ Patrick Harvie and Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie debated the Free Church minister on the same issue in front of a full house in Edinburgh.

However the SNP, Labour and the Conservatives declined to participate.

Although disagreeing on the redefinition of marriage, the Scottish church leader said he was full of admiration for Mr Tatchell’s willingness to engage on the subject.

Mr Robertson added: “I admire Peter Tatchell for his strong convictions and his commitment to his fundamental beliefs.

“But I think that these are fundamentally wrong and all the more dangerous because of that.

“I am grateful that, unlike many of our politicians and opinion formers, he is willing to engage with those of us who think differently and to look in more depth at the key issues rather than just skirting over them with superficial soundbites.

“It should be an interesting evening.”

The first hour will be a debate between the two speakers, and the second hour of the show will take questions from viewers.

Revelation TV, which was founded in 2003, broadcasts on Freesat channel 692 and Sky channel 581, as well as streaming live online.

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