Scottish cardinal calls for referendum on same-sex 'marriage'
Cardinal Keith P. O'Brien. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk
Cardinal Keith P. O'Brien. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Cardinal Keith P. O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh has challenged the Scottish government to hold a nationwide referendum on same-sex “marriage,” following its commitment to schedule a vote for independence.

“Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial that we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue,” Cardinal O’Brien said in a July 16 statement.

“Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide,” he said.

The cardinal has thrown down his challenge only 24 hours before the government is likely to announce its official view on same-sex “marriage.”

The country’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has so far said he “tends towards” supporting the policy. However, he is also committed to taking on-board those views expressed during his administration’s public consultation on the issue.

That three-month process garnered over 77,000 submissions – the highest response rate to any consultation since the devolved Scottish Parliament was created in 1999. It is also three times the number of public responses received for the governing Scottish National Party’s recent consultation on its flagship policy of Scottish independence.

Cardinal O’Brien said this “clearly” demonstrated that “far more people are concerned about fundamental matters of morality at the present time.”

Last week an opinion poll found that 55 percent of Scots want the legal definition of marriage to remain a union between a man and a woman. The survey, commissioned by the campaign group Scotland for Marriage, also found that 50 percent were in favor of a referendum to settle the issue.

Despite assurances from the government that religious liberty will not be affected by any proposed legislation, Scotland for Marriage also published legal advice from a leading Scottish lawyer who said that such political promises are worthless under present European human rights legislation.

Attorney Aiden O’Neill predicted that a change in Scottish marriage law could see employees sacked for opposing same-sex “marriage,” ministers and priests sued for refusing to allow ceremonies to take place in their churches, school children forced to attend homosexual history lessons and couples rejected as foster parents if they oppose the new legislation.

In response, Cardinal O’Brien said Scotland’s 750,000 Catholics will raise £100,000 ($150,000) to support the Scotland for Marriage campaign if the government proceeds with changing the law.

“Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defense,” he said.

Tags: Marriage

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27