A coalition of faith groups has announced its support for introducing gay marriage in Scotland. The Unitarians, Liberal Jews, Quakers, the Metropolitan Community Church and the Pagan Federation are backing the Scottish Youth Parliament’s call for a change in the law.
An event will be held at the Youth Parliament’s offices in Edinburgh later today with representatives from each faith speaking out for marriage equality. Rabbi Mark Solomon of Liberal Jewish Community is expected to say that the change will affirm family values, while Phil Lucas of the Quakers will say that his church has celebrated gay unions for 15 years.
The Scottish government is holding a 14-week consultation on introducing gay marriage and allowing civil partnerships. Ministers have made it clear that faiths will not be forced to hold ceremonies for gay couples.
Leaders from the Catholic Church have strongly opposed the plans and say the government will lose the support of 800,000 Catholics if it presses ahead on marriage equality. Church leader Cardinal Keith O’Brien said the change would be a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” and that gay parents cannot adequately bring up a child.
The group does not include the Church of Scotland, the established Church in Scotland, nor the Scottish Episcopal Church.