Evangelicals criticise MSPs over hasty gay marriage vote

Evangelical group – Forward Together – has criticised the Scottish Parliament’s decision to back same-sex marriage saying they are unconvinced that Holyrood can protect those who have conscientious objections to the redefinition.

The comments followed 98 MSPs voting for the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill. 15 voted against and five abstained.

Forward Together said the Scottish Government “has no electoral mandate” for the move, and that MSPs ignored “the wishes of a majority of those who responded to the public consultation”.


Alex Salmond’s public consultation drew 77,508 responses – the largest response to a consultation in Scottish Government history. Two thirds of those responses were against the plans.

Forward Together, which is an evangelical grouping within the Church of Scotland, said: “The Scottish Parliament has arrogantly elevated its own wisdom over that of the living God.”

The group, whose Director is Revd Dr Norman Maciver, added: “Forward Together is not by any means convinced that the Scottish Parliament can guarantee legal protections for those whose conscience will not permit them to support the Parliament’s decision in principle.”


During the debate in the Scottish Parliament, Elaine Smith MSP – who voted against the plans – said she had been “likened to the Ku Klux Klan” since she indicated she was not going to support same-sex marriage.

Forward Together said it “applauds the courage and the conscientious stand of those MSPs who resisted the legislation and who voted accordingly”.

The group added: “They demonstrated that quality of political leadership which was called for, but which could not, sadly, win the day.

“We urge other MSPs to follow their example when the bill next comes before Parliament.”

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