London, Mar 4(ANI): A Roman Catholic Church leader has slammed the British government over its plans to legalise gay marriage, describing the step as "madness" and a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right", Cardinal Keith O'Brien said:
"Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists."
The Telegraph further quoted theleader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, as saying.
"Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.
Cardinal O'Brien's comments are the strongest criticism leveled by a church figure ahead of the plans, which are due to be unveiled this month by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.
He also accused British ministers of trying to "redefine reality" and changing long-standing laws and traditions "at the behest of a small minority of activists".
The cardinal has added his voice to those of leading figures in the Coalition for Marriage, a group of bishops, politicians and lawyers opposed to the changes. The group's supporters include Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
The group is on a collision course with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who hopes to make legislation changing the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, expected by 2015.
The new clash between the Coalition and the Catholic Church comes in the wake of the Church of England also increasingly split over the issue of gay rights.
The UK Government also faces a Commons rebellion of scores of Conservative MPs over its gay marriage proposals. (ANI)
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