|Cardinal O'Brien opposes same sex marriage proposals|
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Christian Bigots and Gay Marriage
I cannot help but feel angry at the constant bigotry from Church leaders over the issue of same sex marriage, the latest being the decision by the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland to withdraw from discussions on the topic - an action that is being interpreted as public snub to Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmon
I understand that some church leaders have strongly homophobic and transphobic beliefs, founded on tenuous interpretations of a small number of biblical references. But the difficulty I have is with Churches claiming that they own the concept of marriage.
When my daughter married in a civil ceremony she asked me to read something at the ceremony. I decided to read the passage from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet on marriage and that text contained the word God. Because the word God was mentioned I had to submit the reading to the registrar to seek permission to read it. Once they had assured themselves that the piece was in no way a religious reading it was allowed.
The proposals for same sex marriage do not require any church organisation to agree to conduct ceremonies so the Government is still allowing them to openly discriminate within their church. There are some more enlightened churches that are happy to accept lesbian, gay and trans members and to marry them although regrettably the UK proposals at present will apparently not allow them to conduct same sex marriage even though they will continue to be able to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.
Cardinal O'Brien wants to hold a referendum on the topic. In my view that is seriously flawed. How is it possible to secure an unbiased vote when the church leaders declare that homosexuality is a sin and are allowed, despite equality legislation, to continue to express that view most forcefully?
I think the Scottish government are to be applauded for steadfastly refusing to go down this route and for moving forward with the same sex marriage proposals which will end the stupidity of couples, where one partner changes gender, from having to divorce before they are allowed to change gender.