Archbishop's plea to fight gay marriage
The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales has urged the faithful to write to their MPs "as soon as possible" to oppose the Government's plans for gay marriage.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has called on Roman Catholics to express their views to their constituency MPs "clearly, calmly and forcefully" over the issue.
He said one of his concerns about the plans was how children would be taught about the "true nature of marriage" in schools if the law was changed to allow same-sex marriage.
"Of course, there are many different circumstances to family life. Events reshape the family lives of many people," he wrote in a pastoral letter read out in parishes in the Diocese of Westminster.
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"We are right to express our admiration for those who work so hard to maintain family stability in difficulty and isolation.
"Support and loving care for them can make all the difference. But none of this takes away the importance of having a clear vision of marriage and family, based on human nature itself."
The Government is committed to legislating on gay marriage by the 2015 General Election, and a Bill is expected to be tabled this month.
David Cameron has promised Tory MPs a free vote on the issue.