Free Church: gay marriage safeguards won’t work

Attempts by the Scottish Government to protect people who object to same-sex marriage are “unconvincing,” the Free Church of Scotland has said.

The Free Church also said the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ could vanish from official paperwork.

This comes after representatives from the Free Church met with a Government official to discuss the planned legalisation of gay marriage.

Protect

There are plans to bring in legislation or guidance to protect the beliefs of public sector workers and religious ministers.

But Dr Malcolm Maclean, editor of the Free Church’s monthly magazine, cast doubts on whether the Scottish Government could deliver the protections.

He said: “Even if we could trust politicians of the present to be bound by their own words, they cannot bind future politicians.”

Saddened

He also said they were “saddened” by the Government’s “determination” to see the legislation through.

The Free Church of Scotland claims the Government disregarded its own consultation results which showed most Scottish respondents were against legalising same-sex marriage.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said they are “totally committed” to protecting religious freedom.

Impact

Recently leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC warned of the far-reaching impact of the Scottish Government proposals in a legal opinion.

He advised that teachers, chaplains, Christians who want to foster, and church groups could all be penalised despite proposals for safeguards.

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