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Catholics hand out 1 million anti-gay marriage postcards

A million anti-gay marriage postcards were handed out at Catholic masses over the weekend as the Roman Catholic Church began a last-ditch mobilisation of opposition to the equal marriage bill.

The postcards, designed to be filled in and sent to local MPs, ask them to vote against the Government's bill, which could come up for a free vote in the Commons as early as 5 February.The Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Reverend Peter Smith urged Catholics that the "time to act is now". In a letter, the Archbishop said it was important that MPs "be made aware of the strength of feeling on this issue".

Campaigners for same-sex marriage have also started action. Ben Summerskill of Stonewall urged supporters to contact MPs.