SCOTLAND risks “lurching down the road to fascism” if the law is changed to allow gay couples to marry, a former SNP leader claimed.
• Former SNP leader Gordon Wilson says gay marraige could see Scotland ‘lurching down road to fascism’
• Mr Wilson warns that same-sex marriage policy will alienate SNP voters
Gordon Wilson blasted controversial Scottish Government plans to allow same-sex couples to wed, arguing this would take away the freedom of speech of those opposed to legislation.
The SNP administration has insisted that protections will be included in the new law to ensure churches, and individuals within them, do not have to conduct same-sex marriages if they do not agree with them.
But Mr Wilson said others could be forced to promote same-sex marriage, arguing teachers could put their jobs at risk if they refused to include books about it in classes.
The former Nationalist leader spoke out at a fringe event organised by Scotland for Marriage - an umbrella group set up to oppose same-sex marriage - at the SNP annual conference in Perth.
There he argued that the “real issues” with the proposed law were the impact it would have on freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.
Mr Wilson said: “This legislation will subvert both rights, so we have to be careful about that. We are in danger of lurching down the road towards fascism.”
He argued that equality legislation was being used as “a steamroller to flatten those with conscience on behalf of the state” on the issue.
And he said: “Take one freedom away, its easier to take away another one. I’m speaking about Britain and Western Europe as well as Scotland.
“Wake up, there is more at stake than you think, it’s not same-sex marriage, it’s the essential freedoms of a Western democracy.”
Mr Wilson warned the Scottish Government’s support for same-sex marriage could lead to some people voting against independence in the 2014 referendum.
As well as that, he said MSPs who backed the change could lose their seats at Holyrood.
He told the audience of about 200 people: “As a Nationalist I find it very odd in the run-up to the independence referendum, the SNP Government has adopted same-sex marriage knowing it will alienate many voters.
“The party that will get the blame for it is the one that is promoting the measure, has plucked it from nowhere and is determined to go on regardless - I am reminded of the analogy of the lemmings rushing over the cliff.
“Somebody somewhere should sit down and start thinking and stop this nonsense.”
Mr Wilson also warned MSPs should “be careful” adding: “If there are MSPs in my party or another party who vote for this measure because they have a free vote, they may find that a free vote has as much validity as a free lunch.
“There’s always a price to pay and that price could be at the next election.”
The Nationalist also claimed same-sex marriage would not address the “real social crisis” facing Scotland - an ageing population.
He accused the Scottish Government of “going full out in favour of associations which are sterile and which do not produce children” at a time when resources are needed to help pay for services such as the care of the elderly.