Barrowman slams Church over criticism of gay unions
- *Barrowman slams Church over criticism of gay unions*
14 Sep 2011
TV star John Barrowman has attacked the Catholic Church over its
criticism of the Scottish Government's planned consultation on same-sex
The Glasgow-born star of the BBC's Doctor Who and Torchwood shows spoke
out after becoming angered by a series of calls from the church's
leadership for it to drop the plans.
The church has criticised the Government's plans for a 14-week
consultation on whether to change a law that allows gay and lesbian
couples to formalise their relationship in a civil partnership ceremony.
They are currently unable to marry in a religious service.
Barrowman, 41, who has been in a civil partnership with architect Scott
Gill since 2006, told The Herald he was shocked at statements of
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Mario
Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow and the Bishop of Paisley, Philip
Cardinal O'Brien said legalising same-sex marriage would "shame Scotland
in the eyes of the world". He also said the law change would have "huge
implications" for society and would represent a "grotesque subversion of
a universally accepted human right".
However, Barrowman said he was "horrified" church groups were "prepared
to ruin lives". He said: "That's not being Christian at all. In fact, I
think it's evil. Being gay is not, as they claim, against the laws of
nature. I was born this way. And there's a reason I was born this way. I
didn't decide to wake up gay one morning.
"If two people love each other enough and want to call what they have a
'marriage', regardless of their sex, shouldn't we let them do that?
"Otherwise, we're in the Dark Ages again."
The entertainer accused the church leaders of hypocrisy. He added: "I'd
like to remind the church many of their own practices were kept a secret
for many years and for them to turn round and attack someone who wants
to be married is quite incredible. I think they'd be advised to remain
Barrowman explained he has suffered personally at the hands of clerical
judgment. He added: "If the churches continue down this line they will
lose even more congregation members. My parents are a prime example.
They don't go to church anymore, in spite of the fact they attended
every Sunday and gave a great deal of money to the church.
"But one Sunday the pastor stood up in church in Florida and said in his
sermon that all homosexuals were set to burn in Hell. They decided they
wouldn't go back."
Cardinal O'Brien's comments came after Archbishop Conti wrote last week,
in a letter to the The Herald, that allowing gay couples to marry in a
traditional sense would be pointless as it would not result in the
creation of a "natural family".
He said its supporters, who are said to number around 60% of the
Scottish population according to a recent poll, were being "foolish".
On Monday, Mr Tartaglia said marriage is "an institution which does not
owe its existence or rationale to governments or legislatures". He spoke
out after the Government's announcement that it has begun gathering
views on whether same-sex marriage should be made legal.
Currently, same-sex couples can enter a civil partnership which carries
full legal rights but the ceremony cannot be conducted in a church or
other religious premises.
Barrowman does not claim to be a spokesman for the gay movement but felt
he had to speak out. He added: "If the word 'marriage' upsets church
people so much, then let's just stick with the unions being described as