The fundamental question with regard to same-sex marriage is whether it is right or wrong (Herald Letters).

If it is right, no harm will be done in registering such "marriages". If it is wrong then inevitably it will cause harm.

Think only of young people growing up and being led to think that there is no moral difference between marriage of one man and one woman and two people of the same sex. I know that many people think there is no moral difference, and frankly, there would not be if sex were merely about partnership. But it cannot be denied that sex is also about procreation and the rearing and education of children. That is not a matter of opinion but of fact, and those in government have to take that into account when considering so radical a change as that which is proposed in the current consultation. Civil partnership legislation was premised on fiscal and legal grounds; this is not.

Loading article content

Those who chant "intolerance" at those who hold to an immemorial tradition, the subject of Christian and Muslim teaching, and indeed of universal practice, should ask themselves whether they are not also being intolerant – if intolerance means simply disagreeing with what others hold.

In a democracy a majority vote can determine policy with regard to moral matters, but this has no bearing on whether such moral matters are in themselves right or wrong. It must nevertheless be of significance that for millennia marriage has been understood in practice and definition to be the covenanted union of a man and a woman. And I am prepared to say so whether or not I am accused of being homophobic or intolerant. I know that I am neither.

(Most Rev) Mario Conti,

Archbishop of Glasgow,

196 Clyde Street,

Glasgow.