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Clerics speak out on gays and ‘bigotry’

31 August 2012

"Out for Marriage": the Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson

"Out for Marriage": the Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson

A LETTER from the Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland opposing the Scottish Government's plans to introduce same-sex marriage was read out in RC churches in Scotland on Sunday.

It stated that "The Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman." The letter outlined plans to set up "a new Commission for Marriage and the Family" to "promote the true nature of marriage".

The RC Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinbugh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who has suspended direct communication with the Scottish Government on gay marriage ( News, 24 August), said on Wednesday of last week that it was "wrong that governments, politicians, or parliaments" sought to "alter or destroy" marriage's unique character.

A spokesman for the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "We intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships because we believe it is the right thing to do."

In the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Provost of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, last Friday invited "anyone who wants to be able to worship in a church where gay people are welcomed and not marginalised" to attend on Sunday. "The rhetoric that is currently coming from the Roman Catholic Church on this topic can be hugely negative." In his sermon on Sunday, the Provost said: "The good news is that we can beat back bigotry wherever we find it, even when it comes from the pulpit."

On Thursday of last week, the Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, appeared in a video on the Out4Marriage website, in which he said: "I wish we could get our head round blessing gay people's relationships. It all comes down to how we see gay people and how we see God. We don't actually believe gay people are sick, or stunted, or criminal. We don't believe God is an angry old man out to get us. Let's stop behaving as though we did. Recognising gay people are equal means they won't dilute or spoil marriage, but potentially enrich it."

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