The furious reaction to church leaders defending marriage show that same-sex marriage is not about gay rights, it is about attacking the church, an editor of a Scottish national newspaper says.
Kevin McKenna says he has been shocked by the vitriolic reaction to Roman Catholic church leaders who have simply defended the traditional definition of marriage.
Mr McKenna was assistant editor of the Herald newspaper in Glasgow before becoming executive editor at the Scottish Daily Mail.
Writing on the Guardian website at the weekend he said: “for the small lobby driving the proposal the issue is less about gay rights and more about attacking Christian beliefs”.
He said: “In Scotland last week, the three most senior clerics in the Catholic church attacked the SNP government for its consultation process on same-sex marriages.
“The vehemence of their criticism is almost unprecedented in recent Scottish political history. The backlash this provoked was as predictable as it was uninformed.
“The Catholic Church was accused of hatred of gays and the homosexual Scots actor John Barrowman said their sentiments were ‘evil’.
“Yet there was absolutely no homophobia whatsoever in the bishops’ criticism. They were simply pointing out that marriage is the union of a man and a woman primarily intended for the purpose of rearing children in a safe and healthy environment.
He added: “no matter which way I look at it, I can find nothing pejorative to the gay community in the church’s simple reaffirmation of the meaning of the word ‘marriage’; civil partnerships already ensure gay couples all their human rights and the protection of the state.
“The concept of marriage, though, is absolutely crucial to the faith and tradition of millions of Christians. It is not difficult to conclude, then, that for the small lobby driving the proposal the issue is less about gay rights and more about attacking Christian beliefs.”
He concluded his article: “Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins thus: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinions and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference…’ If you are a professing Christian, though, the totalitarian left will withhold that right.”
His article also hit out at left-wingers who sneer at the Church. He said: “according to the sentinels of neo-liberal socialism, you are not allowed to be in their party if, at the same time, you also accept and subscribe to what I suppose we must call traditional Christianity.
“The signs first became evident in the early 1990s when the Scottish Labour party refused to allow Labour pro-life activists to have a stall at party conferences.”
He added: “Indeed, at future Labour party conferences, I fully expect to see the emergence of ‘correction facilities’ where Labour activists who insist on adhering to their irresponsible Christian faith can be processed.”