PORTSMOUTH’S Catholic bishop has hit out at plans to extend marriage to same-sex couples.
Bishop Philip Egan has spoken out in response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s support for a change in the law to allow gay couples to get married.
It comes as the government is putting together plans to allow same-sex civil marriage ceremonies.
Churches would also be allowed to marry homosexual couples if they wished.
Bishop Egan, who was ordained in September, said: ‘Mr Cameron said he is an enthusiastic supporter of marriage and he does not want gay people to be excluded from a great institution.
‘Yet however well-intentioned, and despite huge opposition from Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, by attempting to change the natural meaning of marriage, he seems utterly determined to undermine one of the key foundations of our society.
‘He is luring the people of England away from their common Christian values and forcing upon us a brave new world, artificially engineered.
‘To extend marriage to gay people he intends to impose the will of a tiny minority on the vast majority.
‘If the Prime Minister proceeds, he will pervert authentic family values with catastrophic consequences for the wellbeing and behaviour of future generations.’
A report commissioned by gay rights charity Stonewall earlier this year revealed 71 per cent of people support the government’s plan to extend marriage to same-sex couples, including 58 per cent of people of faith.
Clare Dussek, the University of Portsmouth’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender officer, said: ‘I’m disappointed at Bishop Egan’s lack of realisation that everybody is equal.
‘I recognise this is a difficult country in terms of contradictions of ideologies – there are people who wish to uphold the traditional Christian ethos and there are those who wish true love and happiness upon every human being.
‘The bishop seems to be completely disregarding anyone else’s right to equality.
‘It worries me he thinks David Cameron’s support of gay marriage is harmful and he dismisses the love between two women or two men.’
‘Love is love, surely?’