13-December-2012 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Scottish archbishop urges safeguards as marriage redefinition advances

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow says the Catholic Church sees the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual unions as "unwise and unnecessary," and he is calling for more safeguards for religious and civil liberties if the Scottish Government passes legislation in favor of the change.

"The Catholic Bishops of Scotland are entirely at one with their colleagues in England and Wales in upholding marriage as a union uniquely of a man and a woman for mutual love and support and open to procreation," Archbishop Tartaglia said in a Dec. 12 response to the Scottish Government's consultation on a same-sex "marriage" bill.

Archbishop Tartaglia warned that the legislation is "wrong" and is "likely to have far reaching consequences" beyond the small number of those who contract same-sex unions.

He also underscored that a leading attorney (Queen's Counsel) believes the proposal will "adversely impact religious freedom and a wide range of civil liberties."

"Employment, Equality and Education law especially should be reviewed and, if necessary, amended so as to avoid the unjust penalization of anyone who disagrees with same sex marriage," he said.

The draft bill for the Scottish parliament would require religious bodies to "opt in" to perform same-sex "marriages." The bill would bar ministers in religious bodies which have not opted in from performing such marriages.

One provision says that "gay marriage" has no impact on free speech rights and asserts it is possible to oppose the unions "without being homophobic," the BBC reports.

The Church of Scotland has also opposed the legislation.

Rev. Alan Hamilton, who heads the Church of Scotland's legal questions committee, told the BBC the church has expressed "concerns about the speed with which the government is proceeding with this and what we fear will be inadequate safeguards for religious bodies and ministers and people of faith who view this as being contrary to their beliefs."

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is advocating "gay marriage" in England and Wales and allowing churches to conduct same-sex weddings.

Archbishop Tartaglia, in a July interview before he took charge of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, said he could see himself going to jail "at some point over the next 15 years" if he speaks out in support of the traditional married family.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=6714#ixzz2F4WrwdvI

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