The Catholic Church in Scotland has issued a fresh warning to the Scottish Government over its plans to legalise gay marriage.
Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, described same-sex marriage as “morally defective” and urged ministers not to equate “homosexual unions with heterosexual marriage”.
His remarks come as the government continues to seek views on its Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.
In a letter published in Catholic journal the Tablet, the archbishop wrote: “While it is true, certainly within Catholic social teaching, that governments are not required to make all immoral actions illegal, to many it is unhelpful, unnecessary and indeed profoundly unwise for political action to do quite the opposite, namely to attempt through the law, by equating homosexual unions with heterosexual marriage, to render moral what is in itself morally defective.”
He went on to say the Catholic Church’s opposition must “surely be worthy of consideration” given its task to “promote the moral wellbeing of society”.
The Equality Network charity has called on the government to stand firm on its proposed laws.
Tom French, its policy co-ordinator, said: “In a free society, Archbishop Conti is entitled to express his views, however offensive they may be. Thankfully, most people in Scotland support same-sex marriage and disagree with the assertion that their gay friends and family members are ‘morally defective’.
“The Catholic Church has long campaigned against equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and for Archbishop Conti to imply that same-sex relationships should now be made illegal is evidence of a worrying anti-gay agenda.”
Ministers announced plans to legalise same-sex marriage after a consultation that attracted 80,000 responses.