A campaign group which is seeking to preserve the definition of marriage for Scotland has been welcomed by the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols said the group’s name, Scotland for Marriage, gave a “very positive message”.
He commented that a similar message was needed for England – where a consultation on changing the definition of marriage is due to start next year.
Responding to the launch of Scotland for Marriage, Archbishop Nichols said: “That’s a very positive message in that title and I’m quite sure that’s what we’ve got to do, too.”
The Archbishop also commented that this year’s royal wedding had captured the “wide public, instinctive recognition of what makes a marriage”.
He said such a “public understanding” of the issue needs to be brought to the surface.
Scotland for Marriage is supported by a number of religious and non-religious groups, including The Christian Institute, and was launched last week in front of hundreds of supporters.
The group’s launch comes as the consultation on redefining marriage in Scotland draws to a close – the final date for submissions is 9 December.
A website for the group, scotlandformarriage.org, features an online petition calling for a referendum on the issue and pointing to the far-reaching implications of redefining marriage. Over 3,000 people have already signed the petition.
In October Prime Minister David Cameron caused a storm of controversy as he declared his support for same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
A public consultation on how to change the law in England and Wales will begin next year with the Westminster Government wanting to redefine marriage by 2015.
In February Michael White, an assistant editor at The Guardian, expressed concern at the move to redefine marriage.
Mr White said: “Aside from all the theological, moral and cultural freight, there’s an important practical distinction here which goes to the root of any society – namely that heterosexual marriage is there to produce and raise children in a more or less stable environment.”
He went on to warn that no amount of technology could “eliminate the need for a female egg and a male sperm to make a baby”. He continued: “On that fact rest all successful societies since the year dot.”