Bishop Devine said, “the homosexual lobby has been extremely effective in aligning itself with minority groups.” He noted attempts to connect homosexual rights to Holocaust memorial services, and also referenced the honors given to celebrities for their activism.
"In this New Year's honors list, I saw actor Ian McKellen being honored for his work on behalf of homosexuals, when a century ago Oscar Wilde was locked up and put in jail,” the bishop said.
Speaking of the homosexual lobby, he said, "It's a very small group of people, but very active and organized – and extremely indulgent. The opposition know exactly what they're doing. We don't."
In remarks about the legislative battle over civil unions and same-sex adoptions the bishop said that the "supreme moral values of liberty and equality" had been placed above the values of “truth and goodness" in society.
Bishop Devine continued: "It was bound to result in state-sponsored morality at war with Christian values. We must resist being corrupted by secularism."
He vowed to fight on against the "forces of secularism". The bishop concluded his speech with a dramatic flourish saying, "Like Mel Gibson, who said, 'I'm going to pick a fight', so am I."
Calum Irving, the director of the homosexual activist group Stonewall Scotland, said that the Catholic Church had far greater wealth and political influence than the gay lobby.
“I'm flattered that the bishop thinks we could mount a 'huge and well-orchestrated' conspiracy, but he is much deluded,” Irving said. He characterized the bishop’s statements as an “attack,” calling them “distinctly un-Christian and deeply out of step with the views of most Scots today.”
A spokesman for Bishop Devine later defended the bishop's comments. "Anything which attacks the sanctity of marriage and the family will be opposed by the Church," he said, according to the Times Online.
After Bishop Devine’s lecture, one audience member asked how Catholic parents should “come to terms with a child's mission to become homosexual.”
According to the Scotsman, the bishop answered, "This must be a nightmare moment for any parent. There are many days when I'm glad to not be a parent. I would try to handle it with a degree of compassion, but I would not tolerate [it]."