EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – The senior Roman Catholic prelate in Scotland is calling for a referendum on plans to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. On Sunday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien urged the Scottish Government to hold a popular vote, because of “intense public interest” over the issue.
The most recent parliamentary session, which ended last December, resulted in an overwhelming response from both sides of the debate when Scotland’s regional government announced that it “tends towards the view” that same-sex marriage should be legalized, with exceptions made for churches.
The government expects to roll out plans for proposed legislation to advance same-sex marriage this week. Cardinal O’Brien, who leads the country’s Roman Catholics, said, “Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial that we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue. Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide.”
Cardinal O’Brien previously described the change to recognize gay marriage as “madness.” Last week, he authorized funds to support the campaign by Scotland For Marriage against same-sex marriage, saying, “Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defence.”