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Archbishop_Peter_SmithLeading British Catholic Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, has reportedly handed out one million anti-gay marriage postcards.

The Catholic Church has been vocal in its opposition to plans to introduce gay marriage to England and Wales by the coalition government. The Church has also been vocal in its opposition north of the border in Scotland where the SNP administration is pushing ahead with marriage equality independently from Westminster.

According to news reports Peter Smith has handed out the post cards, totalling around one million, in a bid to urge Church-goers to write to their respective MP’s voicing their opposition to gay marriage. It is part of the Catholic Church’s attempt to stop the coalition government passing legislation on the issue.

Smith argues that “Marriage has an identity distinct from any other relationship, no matter how much love or commitment may be involved. Marriage is and always has been the union of one man and one woman, for love and mutual support, open to procreation.”

The leading Catholic also argues that gay marriage will “radically alter the meaning of marriage for everyone and therefore undermine the common good” and that the government has no “is no electoral mandate for this Bill and last year’s consultation process was shambolic”

The legislation is due to go before Parliament on February 5th and will be a free vote for MPs; that means MPs will be able to vote on the basis of their own personal or religious beliefs rather than vote inline with party policy. It is widely expected the legislation will be passed as the majority of MPs are in favour with around 100 or so reportedly opposed. Amongst the MPs opposed are current Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and former Defence Secretary Dr. Liam Fox – both are Tory MPs though a number of Labour MPs are also opposed to the plans.

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