The BBC has received 1,238 complaints over a controversial Songs of Praise episode featuring a same-sex wedding.
The episode was billed as a celebration of faith and marriage, but showed clips of the wedding between Jamie Wallace and Ian McDowall at Rutherglen United Reformed Church near Glasgow.
Viewers strongly objected to the inclusion of a same-sex couple in a programme for Christians.
A Songs of Praise spokesman defended the programme, saying almost 400 people had written letters of support – less than a third of those who complained.
During the programme, presenter Kate Bottley described the United Reformed Church’s decision to redefine marriage as “momentous”.
The couple were able to speak without challenge, with Mr Wallace justifying his stance by saying: “Jesus preaches about love and inclusion, kindness, compassion.”
‘Huge number of complaints’
The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Communications Ciarán Kelly said: “That’s a huge number of complaints. Whether the BBC have enough humility to take them on board remains to be seen.
“When the decision was taken to make this episode, producers must have known that the Christian faith teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman.
“With just ten minutes’ research they would have discovered that 99.5 per cent of places of worship in England and Wales don’t conduct same-sex weddings.
“The programme only featured three stories, and yet the BBC still chose one of them to promote same-sex marriage.”