Voters deliver gay marriage protest petition to Sturgeon

A petition opposing the redefinition of marriage has been presented to Scotland’s Deputy First Minister.

Representatives from a Roman Catholic group handed the petition, which was signed by 1,000 people, to Nicola Sturgeon at her surgery.

Brian Henry, the petition’s organiser, said: “We don’t see any reason for a change in the law.”

Marriage

The petition was organised by a group of Roman Catholics who gathered the signatures at five local churches in the MSP’s constituency the previous weekend.

The Scottish Government’s consultation on rewriting the definition of marriage closed last December.

The consultation sparked a fierce debate and tens of thousands of responses.

Redefinition

The Government, which is led by the Scottish National Party, has previously said that it “tended towards” the redefinition of marriage.

Speaking after she received the petition Ms Sturgeon said: “Decisions will be taken in due course and, as the government has always made clear, if the decision is to legislate for same-sex marriage then there will be protections to ensure that no religious group is compelled to take part in same-sex marriage.”

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.

Votes

In December Muslim leaders warned that the Scottish Government risked losing votes from the nation’s Muslim community with its plans to redefine marriage. The Muslim Council of Scotland warned that the plans could cause many Muslims to withdraw their support from the Scottish National Party.

In October Gordon Wilson, who led the Scottish National Party from 1979 to 1990, called for a referendum to be held on the issue.

And Sir Tom Farmer, the wealthy founder of Kwik-Fit and a Scottish National Party donor, has also criticised the party’s plans to redefine marriage.

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