The “substantial silent majority” in Scotland who oppose same-sex marriage should continue to be respected, a traditional marriage group has said, as the date for the first gay weddings is announced.
Scotland for Marriage said many people “adopt a viewpoint very much opposed to that of the Holyrood metropolitan elite”.
The comments came as Health Secretary Alex Neil said the first same-sex marriages in Scotland could take place on 31 December this year.
MSPs voted to redefine marriage by 105 votes to 18 in February and rejected amendments to provide greater civil liberty protections for people who believe in traditional marriage.
A petition of 54,000 signatures, organised by Scotland for Marriage, was handed in to the Scottish Government ahead of the vote.
In a statement released to the media yesterday, Scotland for Marriage said: “Of course, our parliament has voted and we accept the outcome of the democratic process.”
But it added: “There is a substantial silent majority in this country who take and hold different views from our MSPs.
“These people adopt a viewpoint very much opposed to that of the Holyrood metropolitan elite which took the decision to legislate.
“We hope the views of those opposed to this legislation will continue to be respected in the future.”
Neil said that 31 December would be “a proud and no doubt emotional day for many”, commenting: “I, for one, can’t wait.”
In September last year a church group came under fire for displaying its support for traditional marriage on a community hall notice board in Shetland.
New Life Shetland pinned up a postcard encouraging people to sign the Scotland for Marriage petition, but a local youth worker objected, saying it could offend gay youngsters.
He removed the postcard and referred the matter to the centre’s managing committee.
Last year a police chaplain said he was removed from his post because he disagreed with gay marriage on his personal blog.
Strathclyde Police said Revd Brian Ross could hold his beliefs in private, but publicly expressing them was a breach of their equality and diversity policy.
And in 2011, former Scottish National Party leader Gordon Wilson said a “lynch mob” booted him off the board of Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) because of his support for traditional marriage.