Consultation on gay marriage in Scotland due to close

Christian groups are urging people to respond to the Scottish Government’s public consultation on gay marriage before it closes at midnight tonight.

The consultation, which is inviting responses from beyond Scotland, is fielding views on redefining marriage to include same-sex unions.

The Scottish Government has already stated that it “tends towards the view” that marriage should be redefined to include same-sex unions.

The consultation also asks whether religious ceremonies for civil partnerships and registration on religious premises should be allowed.

However a final decision has not been reached and the Government has promised to take other views into consideration.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, of Christian Concern, said that the proposed changes to the law would have “huge” implications for freedom of belief.

“Individuals and churches are likely to be sued under equality legislation if they do not wish to participate, regardless of any conscience safeguards, which have never worked in the past,” she said.

“Many Christians have already lost their jobs because of the promotion of homosexual rights.”

Canon Chris Sugden, of Anglican Mainstream, said: “Please act now to defend marriage.”

The campaign to preserve the traditional definition of marriage is being spearheaded by Scotland for Marriage, which launched this week.

The campaign group has broad support from Christians, including CARE for Scotland, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Christian Institute and the Evangelical Alliance.