Bishop chides Cameron on gay marriage

Nov. 18, 2011 at 3:16 PM
| License Photo

LONDON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to legalize gay marriagewill weaken marriage as an institution, the head of the Catholic Church in England said Friday.

The Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, who as archbishop of Westminster is the senior cleric in England and Wales, said at a news conference that Cameron wants to "annex the institution of marriage" for homosexuals, The Daily Telegraph reported. Nichols said he respects Cameron's desire to encourage equality and committed gay relationships.

"But commitment plus equality does not equal marriage and the distinctive nature of marriage is something that is very important to the well-being of society because it is the foundation of family life as we know it and as it experienced by the vast majority of people," he said.

Civil partnerships have been legal in Britain since 2005. Under Cameron's plan, gay couples would be allowed to hold partnership ceremonies in religious facilities starting next year and a commission would study changing the law to allow marriage. The prime minister, who is head of the Conservative Party, argues Conservatives should support homosexuals seeking more stable relationships.

The Liberal Democrats, the junior member of his coalition, was the first party to endorse gay marriage.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm