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06 July 2012

Call to pray ahead of Scottish same-sex marriage decision

Churches are called to pray as the Scottish government meets next week to decide what to do in response to their consultation on introducing same-sex 'marriage'.

The huge response to the consultation has delayed the decision but the cabinet will meet on 10 July to finalise whether they will take forward the plans, or drop them. A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said: "With 77,000 responses in total there has been some further work necessary, so the consultation will be discussed at cabinet."

The Evangelical Alliance is part of Scotland for Marriage, and Fred Drummond, the Alliance's director of Scotland, said: "The cabinet needs to listen to the many thousands of people who have made their voices heard and drop these ill considered plans.

"This is a time for the Church to pray for our leaders, as they meet to decide how to respond to the consultation we must ask that they have wisdom. It is vital that they hear the calls of the vast majority of respondents not to redefine marriage."

While the precise details remain unknown it is believed that submissions urging the government to reject the proposals outnumber those backing it by two to one.

The Scotland for Marriage campaign group has brought together many groups which believe that the proposals to redefine marriage would be highly damaging and undermine the role of marriage as one of the basic building blocks of society.

Ahead of the local elections earlier this year Scotland for Marriage sent leaflets to voters in Glasgow asking voters to find out where candidates stood on the issue.

Plans to redefine marriage were announced in Scotland before England and Wales, although the significant delay in responding to the consultation has led to speculation that first minister Alex Salmond might wait and follow Downing Street's lead.

The Scottish consultation closed in December 2011 so campaigners on both sides have been waiting for some time to find out what will happen next. The consultation in England and Wales has recently closed and the government are expected to provide a response later this year.

Even if the Scottish cabinet decide to press ahead with the controversial plans there would then be a further consultation on a draft bill before a finalised bill entered parliament in 2013.