BY Ian Dunn | March 16 2012 | comments icon 8 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-GORDON-WILSON

SNP marriage plan rejected, independence support at risk

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.’

Controversial plan

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.

Critical juncture

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.

Papal guidance

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.

— ian@sconews.co.uk

Comments - 8 Responses

  1. kevin says:

    Catholics are not “being forced to confront aggressive attempts to redefine marriage.”

    The Catholic Church can continue to define marriage as it wishes and apply that definition in its own churches. Nobody questions that. I see no aggression.

    On the other hand, while the Catholic Church has the right to a voice it has no right to insist that society as a whole must accept that definition.

    • Liz Leydon says:

      Society accepts the natural law, and the Church’s, definition of marriage. 53 percent in survey.

  2. Scott Watson says:

    “The new survey of 1004 Scots, commissioned by the campaign group Scotland For Marriage”

    To be frank considering the group that commissioned the poll is clearly biased, I’m a little less inclined to believe that their poll is the same as the view of the majority of Scots.

  3. Bob says:

    ‘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’…..Well thats interesting – do those 11% understand that IF this goes thru it will have been voted by a majority across all parties – so how does it stand up to vote for unionist parties who support this? Most sensible people can seperate the same sex marrige issue with the question of independence!

  4. John says:

    re. Scott Wilson. The poll was commissioned by Scotland For Marriage, not carried out by them, it was carried out by an independent research company ORB, who are a worldwide research company. Someone has to commission a poll, i.e. ask for it to be done, that’s how it works, the group who commission it are usually biased but that doesn’t mean the poll is biased. The SNP Govt have obviously made up their mind about what they’re going to do, but if they commission a poll, does that make the poll biased in their favour? if so how can you trust the polls commissioned by the SNP, and how can you trust ANY polls?

  5. John says:

    PS. Point is the poll was done by independent research company and should not be discounted.

  6. John says:

    re. Kevin. The Catholic Church (or any church) cannot continue to define marriage as it likes. A recent ruling by the European Court states that it is not a human right for a same-sex couple to get married, but if same-sex couples are allowed to marry in a member country then if a church refuses to allow them to get married on their premises then the church (or religious organisation) will be guilty of discrimination and breaking European laws which supercede UK laws. Putting churches in an impossible position, where they are forced to deny their beliefs to avoid breaking the law.

  7. John you make the point very well, it is this type of disingenuous non sense that the politicians are trying to hide behind. Anything to grab a few extra votes from their opposition.
    It was not very long ago that we were told that gay rights wouldn’t affect adoption agencies and what happened in England? Catholic adoption is forbidden by law. In England the proportionally small Catholic adoption services actually supported 25% of all adoptions in England. The government are now bleating about the numbers of children in care services, by their intolerance, it was they who created the problem. The care of vulnerable children is clearly not their priority, they are just liars.
    Gay people have all the same rights under the law in this country as married people, this is just an agenda foisted
    on society by a very small group of activists with a very aggressive and all too common vitriol against Christ’s church and sadly our politicians seem eager for their votes.

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