Scotland’s Catholic leader calls for referendum on gay marriage
Cardinal Keith O’Brien points to ‘intense public interest’
SCOTLAND’S most senior Catholic has urged the Scottish Government to hold a referendum on proposals to legalise same-sex marriage.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien said a vote should be held because of “intense public interest” in the issue.
The proposal to legalise gay marriage resulted in the biggest response to any government consultation with almost 80,000 responses.
At the start of the consultation, which closed in December, the Government said it “tends towards the view” that same-sex marriage should be introduced, although faith groups and their celebrants should not be obliged to solemnise the ceremonies.
It is expected to announce its plans for the legislation this week.
Cardinal O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, highlighted the fact that the marriage consultation received three times more responses than the consultation on the independence referendum, which saw more than 26,000 people share their views.
He said this demonstrated “far more people are concerned about fundamental matters of morality at the present time”.
The cardinal, who has previously described the potential law change as “madness”, said: “Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial that we have one on marriage.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it hoped to announce the way forward next month after considering the consultation results.
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