Scot­tish car­di­nal hits plans for gay mar­riage

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

LONDON | The leader of the Catholic Church in Scot­land has fiercely at­tacked the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment’s plans to al­low gay mar­riage, call­ing the pro­pos­als “mad­ness.”

In an ar­ti­cle for the Sun­day Tele­graph news­pa­per, Scot­tish Ro­man Catholic Car­di­nal Keith O’brien ac­cused the coali­tion gov­ern­ment of try­ing to “re­de­fine re­al­ity.”

He called the plans “a grotesque sub­ver­sion of a uni­ver­sally ac­cepted hu­man right” and said the gov­ern­ment’s back­ing for mar­riage to in­clude gay cou­ples is “mad­ness.”

Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron has ad­vo­cated gay mar­riage. Bri­tain’s equal­i­ties min­is­ter will launch a con­sul­ta­tion this month on how to change the le­gal def­i­ni­tion of mar­riage to in­clude same-sex cou­ples.

While Car­di­nal O’brien con­ceded that ar­gu­ing in fa­vor of “tra­di­tional” mar­riage “risks one be­ing la­beled an in­tol­er­ant bigot,” he said chang­ing the def­i­ni­tion of mar­riage would “de­lib­er­ately” de­prive chil­dren of the right to a mother or fa­ther and “shame the United King­dom in the eyes of the world.”

Car­di­nal O’brien also cast doubt on gov­ern­ment as­sur­ances that churches would not be forced to per­form gay mar­riages: “Imag­ine for a mo­ment that the gov­ern­ment had de­cided to le­gal­ize slav­ery but as­sured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep a slave,’ ” he said. “Would such worth­less as­sur­ances calm our fury? Would they jus­tify dis­man­tling a fun­da­men­tal hu­man right?”

Mar­got James, the first openly les­bian law­maker from the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive Party, crit­i­cized the car­di­nal’s use of “apoc­a­lyp­tic lan­guage” and ac­cused him of scare­mon­ger­ing.

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