Same-sex marriage 'is really an assault on the church'

The furious reaction to church leaders defending marriage show that same-sex marriage is not about gay rights, it is about attacking the church, an editor of a Scottish national newspaper says.

Kevin McKenna says he has been shocked by the vitriolic reaction to Roman Catholic church leaders who have simply defended the traditional definition of marriage.

Mr McKenna was assistant editor of the Herald newspaper in Glasgow before becoming executive editor at the Scottish Daily Mail.

Writing on the Guardian website at the weekend he said: “For the small lobby driving the proposal the issue is less about gay rights and more about attacking Christian beliefs”.

He said: “In Scotland last week, the three most senior clerics in the Catholic church attacked the SNP government for its consultation process on same-sex marriages.

“The vehemence of their criticism is almost unprecedented in recent Scottish political history. The backlash this provoked was as predictable as it was uninformed.

“The Catholic Church was accused of hatred of gays and the homosexual Scots actor John Barrowman said their sentiments were ‘evil’.

“Yet there was absolutely no homophobia whatsoever in the bishops’ criticism. They were simply pointing out that marriage is the union of a man and a woman primarily intended for the purpose of rearing children in a safe and healthy environment.

He added: “No matter which way I look at it, I can find nothing pejorative to the gay community in the church’s simple reaffirmation of the meaning of the word ‘marriage’; civil partnerships already ensure gay couples all their human rights and the protection of the state.

“The concept of marriage, though, is absolutely crucial to the faith and tradition of millions of Christians. It is not difficult to conclude, then, that for the small lobby driving the proposal the issue is less about gay rights and more about attacking Christian beliefs.”

• Full story at the Christian Institute.