THE Catholic Church will today intensify pressure on Alex Salmond over same-sex marriage by calling for a referendum on the proposals, before the First Minister’s flagship independence vote.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has attacked SNP plans.
The leader of Scotland’s Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has warned the First Minister that “far more people” are concerned about same-sex ceremonies than independence.
A spokesman for the Church told The Herald it wanted a public vote on the issue before a referendum on independence.
Ministers are expected to announce proposals for gay marriage after a Cabinet meeting tomorrow. They are under intense pressure from opponents, including campaign groups and churches. More than 27,000 people have signed a petition against the plans.
However, the First Minister is facing calls from many within his own party to press ahead with the proposals. At the weekend Jim Eadie, the SNP Edinburgh Southern MSP, said: “The message to the Scottish Government should be: ‘Stand firm, hold your nerve.'”
Muslim leaders and the Catholic Church have denounced the plans and accused Scottish ministers of offering “worthless” assurances over opt-outs.
Cardinal O’Brien, who has previously described the proposals as madness, specifically linked gay marriage and independence in a statement last night calling for a referendum.
He pointed out that almost 80,000 people responded to an official consultation on same-sex marriage while 26,000 have responded to the one on independence.
Cardinal O’Brien said: “The Scottish Government’s consultation on redefining marriage had three times more respondents than the consultation on the constitution, demonstrating clearly that far more people are concerned about fundamental matters of morality at the present time.
“Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue. Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide.”
-full report at Herald Scotland.