Scottish faith groups want gay marriage referendum

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Two Scottish faith groups are calling for a referendum on gay marriage.

Dundee-based Solas and the Free Church say voters should be allowed to choose whether Scotland allows gay couples to wed.

Both groups strongly oppose the move, the BBC reports.

According to the 2010 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, published in August, 61 per cent of people believe gays and lesbians should have the right to marry.

The Scottish government is currently holding a consultation on marriage equality and ministers are minded towards the move.

Solas chairman Gordon Wilson, a former SNP leader, and the group’s director, Free Church Reverend David Robertson, say gay marriage is an “attack on marriage”.

They also argue that legalising gay marriage would violate rights of heterosexual married couples under UN and European laws.

Announcing the consultation at the beginning of September, deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said ministers believe “that no religious body or its celebrants should be required to carry out same sex marriages or civil partnership ceremonies”.

The consultation will ask stakeholders whether churches should be given the option of holding the ceremonies if they wish.