The leaders of Holyrood’s opposition parties have committed themselves to “campaign” for the redefinition of marriage, despite widespread opposition to any change.
The leaders of the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green parties signed a pledge calling for the change at an event at Holyrood yesterday.
But John Deighan, of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said: “It is disappointing that party leaders have been so cavalier in joining the bandwagon for redefining marriage.
“We deserve a more reflective approach from those in a position of political leadership.
“Marriage is essentially linked with recognising and supporting the roles of mother and father.”
At the event Labour’s Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson of the Conservatives, Willie Rennie of the Liberal Democrats and Patrick Harvie of the Greens signed a pledge by the Equality Network saying that they would “campaign to beat the ban on same sex marriage”.
They also cut an “equal marriage” wedding cake – a symbolic gesture which was designed to show their support for rewriting the definition of marriage.
The Scottish Government’s consultation on redefining marriage closed in December after receiving tens of thousands of responses.
A spokeswoman for the Government said that “it would be inappropriate for a government minister to sign any pledge on this matter while the analysis of the consultation is ongoing”.
Tom French, of the Equality Network, said: “We are delighted that leading politicians from across the political spectrum have united for equal marriage.”
The Scottish Government’s proposals to rewrite the definition of marriage have provoked a strong backlash.
The Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, 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.
In November a new campaign group Scotland for Marriage, a group seeking to preserve the traditional definition of marriage, was launched.
It is comprised of both religious and non-religious organisations.