A “politically correct secular society” that redefines marriage is not my idea of an independent Scotland, an SNP activist has said.
In a strong rebuke to his own party, 75-year-old Alan Clayton has called for deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon, to resign over the issue.
He also hit out at the SNP’s controversial sectarianism Bill – a Bill that many believe is badly worded and could damage free speech.
Mr Clayton, a long-time SNP activist, campaigned for deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon, in successive elections. But now he is calling for her to quit.
The 75-year-old told the Daily Record: “The only way to rescue this situation is for Nicola Sturgeon to stand down”.
He said the row over the sectarian laws and the storm over homosexual marriage did not fit his idea of an independent Scotland.
He said: “The gay marriage situation is not what I fought for 30 years. I fought for an independent Scotland, not to have a politically correct secular society.”
SNP leader Alex Salmond hopes to hold a referendum on whether Scotland should leave the UK and become an independent nation.
But he does not plan to hold a referendum on rewriting marriage. Christian group Solas – which is chaired by former SNP leader Gordon Wilson – says that is wrong.
A Solas statement said: “if the relationship of Scotland to the rest of the United Kingdom is worthy of a referendum, then the relationship of Scotland to that most vital of societal institutions, marriage, is also worthy of a referendum.”
Alex Salmond has also come under strong criticism from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.
Bishop of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia, has said the SNP does not deserve the support of Scotland’s 800,000 Roman Catholics if it redefines marriage.
The Scottish Government says it will listen to all opinions before deciding whether to press ahead with redefining marriage, but at this stage it is in favour of introducing homosexual marriage.