Scotland fails homosexual people
Publication Date: 2011-12-16
Cardinal O’Brien blames society, civil partnership law as government looks to redefine marriage
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has said that Scottish society has ‘failed’ because it has encouraged relationships between people of the same sex.
Britain’s most senior Catholic clergyman was speaking after campaigners from the Catholic Parliamentary Office campaign handed in more than 28,000 responses opposing the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ before the Scottish Government’s consultation closed last Friday night.
In total the consultation has received more than 50,000 submissions, one of the largest responses ever prompted by a Scottish Government consultation with the response in opposition particularly strong from Catholics and other religious groups.
Cardinal O’Brien said unless the campaign against same-sex ‘marriage’ was successful Catholics would face ‘further challenges including the likelihood that Catholic teachers will be prohibited from passing on Gospel values.’ He said that the current consultation and the need for response were a direct result of the ill effects caused by the Scottish Parliament’s decision to enact civil partnership legislation in 2004.
“These measures were not in the best interests of our society,” he said. “The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction and wider society by our actions.”
Cardinal O’Brien has led opposition to redefining marriage in what has been one of the most successful interfaith campaigns in Scottish history, with members of the Catholic Church, Church of Scotland, other Christian churches and the Jewish and Muslim communities coming together to oppose moves to open marriage to same-sex couples. Of the more than 28,000 postcards handed over on Friday, in excess of 4000 came from the Scottish Muslim community.
Dr Salah Beltagui of the Muslim Council of Scotland said the Scottish Islamic community were in agreement with the Catholic Church on this issue.
“We are totally against the ideas of same-sex couples getting married,” he said. “God created man and he created woman so they could marry and have families. Same-sex ‘marriages’ are completely out of order. No government on earth has the right to change the nature of marriage which was instituted by God.”
Cardinal O’Brien and Bishop Philip Tartaglia are still waiting for confirmation from the Scottish Government on whether or not foreign submissions to the consultation will be accepted.
The foreword of the consultation said that views on whether or not the definition of marriage should be changed would be sought from ‘all sections of Scottish society.’ However pro same-sex ‘marriage’ lobbying groups urged their supporters to submit responses whether or not they live in Scotland. The Scottish Government has suggested that such responses would be accepted but identified separately.
In his letter, Cardinal O’Brien has said the consultation would be ‘utterly subverted’ if foreign submission were accepted.
“Allowing thousands of respondents outwith Scotland to actively participate in our political process utterly subverts this stance,” the cardinal said. “Even to collate and separately identify non-Scottish responses would be to undermine the singular sovereignty of the Scottish people.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said only that the government would now consider the consultation.
“The government will now analyse the responses and consider what steps to take next,” she said. “As was made clear when the consultation was launched, while we have expressed our initial view, we have given an assurance that all opinions will be listened to. No final views have been reached and therefore no decisions have been taken. The analysis of the responses will be published in the spring.”