Redefining marriage would be a “huge social experiment, in which the guinea pigs are children”, a Free Church of Scotland report has warned.
The official report also cautioned that the Scottish Government is “legitimising and encouraging the existence of fatherless or motherless children” through its plans to redefine marriage.
The comments come as the Government continues to analyse the huge numbers of responses to its same-sex marriage consultation.
The Free Church of Scotland’s Study Panel, which is looking into issues including marriage, said it was concerned that redefining marriage would lead to the erosion of parenthood.
In some parts of the world where same-sex marriage is legal, official documents have been changed so that they no longer refer to “mother” or “father”, instead using language such as “progenitor 1, progenitor 2” or “parent A, parent B”.
The report said: “This is a huge social experiment, in which the guinea pigs are children. That is not fair or just to children and does not safeguard their rights.”
It added that the bid to redefine marriage is being pushed by the homosexual lobby “without any consideration of the harm that it will do”.
The Study Panel added that civil partnerships already give same-sex couples the same legal rights as marriage, and there was no need to change its centuries-old definition.
The report was also critical of the “hysterical reactions to anyone daring to question” the need for redefining marriage.
In October last year the Free Church spoke out against plans to redefine marriage warning that marriage would be “undermined if the government effectively changes its meaning to include same-sex couples”.
It also said that “the timeless definition of marriage as the voluntary union of one man and one woman would be changed irreversibly”.
The Free Church urged the Scottish Government to ditch its proposals, and ‘applauded the courage’ of the Roman Catholic Church in speaking out against redefining marriage.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia, wrote to Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond last year, to express his “serious misgivings” at the Scottish Government’s plans to redefine marriage.
Scotland for Marriage, a campaign group opposed to the redefinition of marriage, is calling for a referendum on the issue. It has a petition here.