Lewis Kirk Presbytery says don’t redefine marriage

The Scottish Government should drop its controversial plans to rewrite the definition of marriage, a Church of Scotland presbytery has said.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on whether to rewrite the definition of marriage. The consultation is due to close on 9 December.

Now the Kirk Presbytery of Lewis has responded to the consultation by urging the Government to “rescind” its contentious plans.

Unique

The Presbytery affirmed that marriage is the unique union between “one man and one woman” and is the “bed-rock of a stable, moral and safe society”.

And it warned that any change to the current definition would undermine “the fundamental human rights of British citizens”.

The Presbytery also rejected claims that “there is a genuine grass-roots demand for same-sex marriage legislation to be introduced”.

Decline

It noted that the “demand for same-sex civil partnerships since 2006 has been in significant, year on year decline from its zenith of 1,047 per annum in 2006 down to 465 in 2010.”

Earlier this month more than 70 of Scotland’s largest evangelical churches, attended by more than 20,000 people, signed an open letter to Scotland’s First Minister urging him not to redefine marriage.

The open letter to Alex Salmond asked him to “uphold the clear understanding of marriage that has served Scotland well for centuries”.

Opposition

Paul Rees, Senior Pastor at Charlotte Baptist Chapel, Edinburgh, said: “We as evangelical church leaders have come together to show our support for marriage and our steadfast opposition to redefining it in law.”

Revd David McCarthy of St Silas Episcopal Church, Glasgow, said: “We wish to express our strong support for marriage. Changing the definition of marriage would have profound effects on our society, not least for Scotland’s children.”

And Revd Dominic Smart of Gilcomston South (Church of Scotland), Aberdeen, said: “Our sincere concern is for the wellbeing of Scotland, and I am particularly concerned about the implications for schools if marriage is redefined.”

The plans to redefine marriage have also been criticised by the Roman Catholic Church, a former leader of the Scottish National Party and two Party donors.

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