00:00 27 December 2012
Sir Paul Coleridge, who sits in the family division, said that gay marriage plans affect just “0.1 percent of the population” and urged ministers to spend more time and energy on solving the crisis of family breakdown that affects the rest of the population.
He said: "So much energy and time has been put into this debate for 0.1% of the population, when we have a crisis of family breakdown.
"While it is gratifying that marriage in any context is centre stage... but it [gay marriage] is a minority issue.
"We need... a more focused position by the government on the importance of marriage."
Sir Paul comments were made after Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Wales and England, attacked the government’s gay marriage bill. He said: "There was no announcement in any party manifesto, no Green Paper, no statement in the Queen's Speech. And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation.
"From a democratic point-of-view, it's a shambles. George Orwell would be proud of that maneuver, I think the process is shambolic."
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