The Archbishop of Westminster and leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has attacked the UK government’s plans for gay marriage as a ‘shambles’.
Vincent Nichols used his Christmas Eve sermon to launch the attack, saying the government had ‘no mandate’ for introducing marriage equality in England and Wales, reports the BBC.
In fact the Liberal Democrats have long supported gay marriage and LGBT Conservatives say same-sex marriage was included in their equalities manifesto at the last election – giving both government parties a mandate. Polls show the majority in Britain support the move.
But speaking about gay marriage during his midnight sermon, veteran homophobe Archbishop Nichols claims: ‘There was no announcement in any party manifesto, no Green Paper, no statement in the Queen's Speech. And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation.
‘From a democratic point-of-view, it's a shambles. George Orwell would be proud of that maneuver, I think the process is shambolic.’
Meanwhile another British Catholic, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, is likely to use his Christmas sermon today to liken gay marriage to Nazi and Communist ideologies.
The government plans for gay marriage to be available from civil registrars and religions which wish to offer it.
Religious bodies would have to opt in under a series of protections to ensure none would be forced to marry gay and lesbian couples. And the Church of England, unlike Nichols’ Catholics, would be legally banned from gay marriage.
Separate plans are being drawn up for marriage equality by the Scottish Government.