The Scottish Episcopal Church has joined the burgeoning ranks of those opposing the Scottish Government’s plans to redefine marriage.
The Government, led by the Scottish National Party (SNP), is holding a consultation on whether to rewrite the definition of marriage. The consultation will close on Friday.
In its response the Episcopal Church has reiterated its canonical position which states that marriage is “a physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman”.
It added: “In the light of that Canon, there is no current basis for agreeing that the law should be changed to view marriage as possible between two people of the same sex.”
The Rt Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness, said: “The Church’s current position is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and this clarity allows us the space to listen to the many differing views held by the members of our Church.”
Gordon Wilson, former leader of the SNP, warned that there was “almost complete agreement” amongst churchgoers and Muslims that marriage should not be redefined.
He added: “Obviously the Scottish Government will have to take these views seriously and also look as the social implications of a revolutionary change of this kind, before coming to any conclusion.”
The Scottish Government’s proposals to redefine marriage have met widespread opposition.
The Church of Scotland, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church are all opposed to the move.
And the leaders of more than 70 evangelical churches, representing more than 20,000 Christians, in Scotland have also signed an open letter opposing the move.
Last month a new campaign group, Scotland for Marriage, was launched in a bid to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. The group is supported by religious and non-religious groups.
It also emerged last month that the president of Scotland’s largest mosque – Glasgow Central Mosque – had written to Alex Salmond urging him to think again.
Mohammed Tufail Shaheen said: “Passing this legislation would further encourage homosexuality and increase the number of same-sex marriages.
“If this trend continues, what would become of our society?”