Scottish Bishops Wants Incest

A senior bishop in the Catholic church in Scotland has angered many by likening homosexuality to incest. During the rant from the bishop of Aberdeen he suggesting that if the Scottish Government truly believed in equality it would make incest and polygamy legal.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert claimed he ‘loved’ gay people but told the Scottish Catholic Observer: “Why is it alright for a man to marry another man, but not alright for him to marry two women? If we really want equality, why does that equality not extend to nieces who genuinely, truly love their uncles?”

Surprisingly he went further and even suggested incest was commonplace in Aberdeen, “And, if you say that such things don’t happen, that they are mere freaks of nature, extreme examples dreamed up for the sake of argument, I say you need to spend more time in the parish.”

The gay bashing bishop did say that he will continue to work for gay people, just not marry them: “As Bishop of Aberdeen, I know there are gay people amongst the community of the Church. I promise I will always respect and love them and uphold them in their relationship with the God who loves them. But I won’t marry them. It just can’t be done.” Although under the marriage equality proposals being put forward, no church or celebrant would be forced into conducting same sex marriages, so he wouldn’t be required to.

The bishop also said “The truth is that a government can pass any legislation it likes, it can legislate to say that everything with four legs is a table, even when it’s a dog and not a horse, but that won’t make it so.” which is quite true, just like the church can say gay people are bad and marriage equality is an impossibility, but that won’t make it so.

Equality Network director Tim Hopkins, told the media, “We are very disappointed the Bishop of Aberdeen should choose to compare same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest. That is offensive and uncalled for.”

However such offensive remarks from the Catholic church in Scotland are nothing new, earlier this year, their head Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, claimed gay marriage was a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. Suggesting same sex marriage will lead to three way marriages and compared the government’s support for equality to legalising slavery.

Scotland Set For Marriage Equality

Scotland looks set to become the first part of the UK to allow same sex marriages

Ministers from the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) confirmed they are going to bring forward a bill on the issue, indicating it could be passed as early as next year with the first ceremonies taking place at the start of 2015.

Political leaders, equality organisations and human rights activists and commentators have welcomed the move and congratulated the SNP on pushing forward with the proposal despite that strong opposition from religious groups, reports Jason Shaw.

The announcement came this week, fresh in the wake of a government consultation which received an astonishing 77,508 responses, a record for any Scottish government consultation.

The SNP confirmed that whilst they were pushing ahead with these plans they would also include in the legislations that no religious organisation or celebrant would be forced to conduct or host same-sex weddings. Furthermore they said they would work with UK ministers to amend equality laws to protect celebrants from legal or disciplinary action if they did refuse to take part or speak out against same-sex ceremonies.

Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, told the media “We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – we believe that this is the right thing to do.” Adding, “The Scottish government has already made clear that no religious body will be compelled to conduct same-sex marriages and we reiterate that today. Such protection is provided for under existing equality laws. However, our view is that to give certainty on protection for individual celebrants taking a different view from a religious body that does agree to conduct same-sex marriages, an amendment will be required to the UK Equality Act.”

The main opposition to equality comes from the various religious organisations in Scotland who have been less the positive about the news.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said, “The Scottish government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale. However, the church looks much further than the short-term electoral time-scales of politicians. We strongly suspect that time will show the church to have been completely correct in explaining that same-sex sexual relationships are detrimental to any love expressed within profound friendships. However, in the short term and long term the church does not see same-sex marriage as an appropriate and helpful response to same-sex attraction.”

The Free Church of Scotland continued with the homophobic feeling saying, “This is a truly sad day for Scotland, and we urge the Scottish government to reconsider their plans.”

From the Christian Church of Scotland, the Reverend Alan Hamilton remarked, “We are concerned the Scottish government is rushing ahead on something that affects all the people of Scotland without adequate debate and reflection.”

Seldom seen in politics, there is support for the equal marriage proposals from all main political parties. “This is a small but important step for equality in Scotland. I’m sure there will be bumps on the road but Nicola Sturgeon can count on my support to deliver equality in marriage.” Said Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party.

“After weeks of confusion, the SNP finally seems to be moving towards a position that was set out in its manifesto.” Read a statement from the Scottish Conservatives. Whilst Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader said, “While this has not been an easy debate, we must now build on the emerging consensus to deliver real marriage equality for Scotland.”