Right of Reply: The Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland reacts to the gay age of consent vote

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before the election we were told legislation would be given the "family test" - would a given policy benefit the family? Yet now families are left coming to terms with the idea that predatory male homosexuals will be able to indulge in dangerous, immoral acts with their 16-year- old sons, while our legislators wash their hands of the whole issue, proclaiming it to be a question of "freedom and equality". The vote on lowering the homosexual age of consent involved MPs exposing children to a lifestyle that will: reduce their life expectancy; increase their chances of infection with HIV, and expose them to predatory and abusive relationships.

In Scotland, only Tam Dalyell stood up for what he believed. Many others, personally known to me, who share my concerns about homosexuality, stayed away or allowed political correctness to overcome their conscience.

In this particular battle the "gay lobby" has had some unsavoury allies. In 1978, the journal of the Paedophile Information Exchange carried this advice for members: "Let us support the lobby to lower the age of consent, but never, never should we be leading such calls. It must come from enlightened progressives and professional pressure groups."

Lest readers think that the Roman Catholic Church is being unduly harsh, let me say clearly that the Church deplores the fact that homosexuals have been the object of violence in speech or action.

The Church's condemnation is of the homosexual act, not the person. Homosexual feelings exist, and, although disordered, are not sinful per se. What is sinful, dangerous and ultimately delusory is the homosexual act. This vote will bring about the opposite of what was intended.