Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Scotland's most senior Catholic cleric, has urged the Scottish Government to hold a referendum on proposals that would legalise gay marriage.
The Scottish government is expected to announce legislation this week.
A government consultation on gay marriage that ended in December received 80,000 responses - three times more than the government's consultation on Scottish independence. Cardinal O'Brien said that more people were concerned about "fundamental matters of morality" than about Scottish independence. He said that holding a referendum "is the only way the country can move forward on this issue". He added: "Let Scotland decide."
Meanwhile a report published this week by the Policy Exchange think-tank said that countries where gay marriage had been legalised such as the Netherlands and Canada saw no changes in the stability of heterosexual marriage since the introduction of the measure.
Above: Cardinal O'Brien. Photo: CNS photo/David Moir, Reuters