O’Brien has spoken out on the issue of gay marriage several times and each attack on it has drawn wide-spread criticism. The cardinal has described gay marriage as a ‘grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right‘, said legalising gay marriage would “shame the UK in the eyes of the world” and compared any legalisation of same-sex marriage as legalising slavery.
The Cardinal, who is head of the Catholic Cahurch in Scotland, has also previously warned the SNP led administration in Scotland of a possible backlash from voters if they legalised gay marriage. O’Brien claimed that the SNP risked losing 800,000 Catholic Voters by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry – that particular comment was seen as a threat by some MPs in Scotland.
At the weekend the Cardinal once again warned the SNP it faced an “unprecedented backlash” if it legalised gay marriage. In the Sunday Times the Catholic wrote “marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defence”. He stated the Church also plans to spend a further £100,000 on advertising against gay marriage – critics would argue such money could be better spent elsewhere.
The latest attack on same-sex marriage by O’Brien and the Catholic Church will only re-enforce the belief that both are out of step with public opinion. Opinion polls continue to put public support for majority equality in the majority and the Catholic Church has been warned several times it risks alienating its own members through its continued opposition to same-sex marriage.