Church hit over marriage notice in community hall

Mon, 16 Sep 2013

A church group in Shetland which uses a local community hall has come under fire for displaying its support for traditional marriage.

The church group, New Life Shetland, has a designated notice board in the Sandveien Neighbourhood Centre in Lerwick.

It pinned up a postcard encouraging people to sign the Scotland for Marriage petition, which supports traditional marriage.

Removed

But local youth worker, Saul Day, objected saying it could offend gay youngsters.

He removed the postcard and referred the matter to the centre’s managing committee who will decide whether the material should be banned.

Pastor Jamie Tonge of New Life Shetland said the information represented the church’s beliefs about marriage and it was not “homophobic”.

Complaint

But youth worker Saul Day, who has complained, said the notice is at odds with the youth service’s commitment to equality.

A Scotland for Marriage spokesman said: “This is exactly the kind of action we expect against churches that use public facilities.

“They will be told to keep quiet about their beliefs on marriage if they wish to continue using the building.

Safeguards

“This is a taste of things to come unless the Scottish Government provides proper safeguards in the same sex marriage bill.

“This kind of witch hunt against people who believe in traditional marriage has no place in a modern tolerant Scotland.”

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