CHURCH leaders insisted they remained opposed to same-sex marriage despite last night’s overwhelming vote in favour of changing the law.
The Catholic Church, which has campaigned against the reform, claimed the vote represented a “bad move” for marriage in Scotland.
John Deighan, parliamentary officer for the Catholic Church in Scotland, warned some churches could be forced to carry out same-sex marriage ceremonies under the changes.
He said: “We’ve always advised that marriage contributes hugely to the wellbeing of society and to the wellbeing of children and families.
“Changing marriage in this way creates inequality and damages the diversity that existing marriages creates.
“We remain opposed to this bill, but will make the call for robust amendments to the bill to protect institutions opposed to same sex marriage.”
The Rev Dr Alan Hamilton, convener of the Church of Scotland’s legal questions committee, said the Kirk remained opposed to same-sex marriages and claimed there was widespread opposition to the changes.
He said: “Until any future General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decides otherwise, that remains our position. But our commitment to care for all people, gay and straight is no less. We stand against homophobia.
“One thing is very clear and that is there is not unanimous support for this legislation in Scotland.
“We would also seek robust and detailed legal assurances and protection for those who do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages as a matter of conscience.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman from Scotland For Marriage, which also opposes the bill, called for a series of protections to ensure families opposed to same-sex marriage were not prevented from adopting children.
A statement from the group said: “Should same-sex marriage become law, there is a very real danger prospective foster carers or adopters may be wrongly deemed ‘homophobic’ if they reveal their opposition to same-sex marriage, and therefore unsuited to the role.
OBSERVERS of the gay marriage debate took to Twitter last night to give their reaction to the news that the first stage of the bill had been approved by MSPs at Holyrood, with the vast majority appearing to support the move.
Liam Furby, Falkirk
Great to hear so many of Scotland’s MSPs talk passionately in favour of LGBT equality. Fantastic that 98 voted in favour of equal marriage.
Russell Abercrombie, Kilmarnock
Proud to see that my nation is leading the way in equal rights for all.
Lesley Wilson, Fife
YEAH! Scottish Marriage Bill clears first hurdle 98 votes to 15. Well done @StonewallScot.
James Inglis, Edinburgh
a fantastic day for Scotland ensuring a fairer society”
Brilliant! Now let’s just call it “marriage”.
Mark Brown, a former Conservative election candidate, Edinburgh
“Respectful debate and a positive outcome at the end to allow parliament to progress with the bill. Well done.”
Two of the mid Scotland and Fife msps voted against same sex marriage. how do i stop them representing me?
Becky O’Hagan, president of the Heriot Watt University Student Union
“Equal Marriage rally today to give the MSPs one last kick! I will be standing tall and proud of who I am! So should you #itstime.”