UK Catholics urged to lobby against gay marriage
The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales has urged followers to write to their representatives in Parliament to oppose the government's plans to allow gay marriage.
In a letter read to congregations over the weekend, Archbishop Vincent Nichols called for Catholics to express their views "clearly, calmly and forcefully."
Nichols says he is concerned about how a change in the law would affect what children are taught about marriage.
He says he wants members of Parliament to "defend, not change, the bond of man and woman in marriage as the essential element of the vision of the family."
Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government plans to introduce legislation in January to allow gay marriages. Recent opinion polls suggest a large majority of the public supports the change.