SNP marriage plan rejected, independence support at risk
Publication Date: 2012-03-16
Majority of Scots reject same-sex ‘marriage,’ poll reveals, as Pope condemns such proposals
A new poll has found that a clear majority of the Scottish population rejects the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ and that the SNP Government’s focus on the issue is making Scots more hostile to independence.
The poll, which forms the basis of a new pro-marriage campaign unveiled this week, will encourage many in the Church who oppose same-sex ‘marriage’ and comes at a time when Pope Benedict XVI is urging Catholics to battle against ‘the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage.’
Controversy has clouded proposals to redefine marriage since the Scottish Government first announced a consultation on the subject last year as Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP were ‘minded’ to change marriage to allow same-sex couples to wed.
The new survey of 1004 Scots, commissioned by the campaign group Scotland For Marriage, found that 53 per cent, a clear majority, believe gay and lesbian couples ‘should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else’ as they already have the same rights as married couples available to them under civil law.
The SNP’s controversial push to redefine marriage has also damaged the party’s aim of achieving independence. A total of 11 per cent of those polled said they are less likely to vote to end the union if the controversial move to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’ goes ahead. The poll by ORB Opinion Research Business conversely found that only 2 per cent are more likely to back independence if the SNP is successful in redefining marriage.
Gordon Wilson, the former Scottish National Party leader, warned that continuing with the bid to redefine marriage could prove a ‘disaster’ for the nationalists at a time when they should be seeking to build consensus among voters ahead of a referendum on independence.
“It’s a potential disaster,” he said. “If the government presses ahead with this proposal against public opinion it will alienate people from voting for independence in the referendum. SNP governments should have only one main priority: the winning of independence for Scotland, everything else is much less important.”
Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, said the poll showed the Scottish people did not want any change to marriage.
This Scottish poll’s findings are an encouraging sign at a time when Catholics around the world are being forced to confront aggressive attempts to redefine marriage.
Pope Benedict XVI last week said this threat to marriage from was not one the Church could afford to ignore.
“The Church’s conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defence of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation,” the Holy Father said. “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage.
The Pope, who made the comments last week when addressing a group of bishops from the US, where nine states have legalised same-sex ‘marriage,’ said that the Church’s efforts to stop same-sex ‘marriage’ were primarily motivated by the desire to protect children.