Salmond’s church minister raises gay marriage concerns

Alex Salmond’s local church minister has raised concerns about the Scottish Government’s bid to redefine marriage.

Revd Andrew Fothergill, of the Church of Scotland, said many church ministers were cautious about Government assurances that they would be protected.

Revd Fothergill also raised concerns that teachers could be forced to endorse same-sex marriage in the classroom.

Nervous

The minister said: “My personal position is that I think naturally we have as celebrants some concerns about the assurances that have been given by the Scottish Government about the safeguards it intends to put in place to protect celebrants who would hold a different position from what the future government legislation might become.

“I think many of us are a bit nervous about what protection it can actually offer”, he commented.

Alex Salmond occasionally attends the Strichen and Tyrie Parish Church in Aberdeenshire, where Revd Fothergill ministers.

Influence

Commenting on his remarks, Scotland for Marriage – which opposes same-sex marriage – said: “While the first minister can’t even get the support of his local minister, our campaign has huge support.

“The power of the ballot box might help influence decisions of our politicians, especially in marginal seats and in many strong faith areas.

“Large numbers are attending local constituency-based meetings all over the country.

Repercussions

“Many people are standing up in defence of traditional marriage, and local MSPs will be approached individually to find out where they stand on the matter.”

The Church of Scotland has previously spoken out against same-sex marriage – saying in December 2011 that redefining marriage would “fundamentally” change the institution.

In its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the issue, the Kirk rejected plans to change the definition of marriage to allow for same-sex couples.

It said such a move may also have “significant and, as yet, inadequately considered repercussions for our country, for the well-being of families, communities and individuals”.

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