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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 13:56 GMT
Bishop criticises gay community
The Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine
The bishop claimed there was a 'gay conspiracy'
A Catholic bishop has claimed gay campaigners are conspiring against Christian traditions.

The Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, made the comments at a lecture in Glasgow.

The bishop said the gay community had aligned itself with minority groups, including Holocaust survivors, to make it appear they were under persecution.

His comments have been condemned by gay rights groups and Holocaust survivor organisations.

At the lecture, at St Aloysius' College on Tuesday, the bishop reportedly said: "We neglect the gay movement at our peril."

He also singled out Oscar-winning actor Sir Ian McKellen, who has been honoured for his services to gay rights, pointing out that Oscar Wilde had been jailed for homosexual acts 100 years ago.

He added that there was a "huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy" taking place, which the Catholic community had missed.

Calum Irving, the director of Stonewall Scotland, which promotes equality and justice for gay people, said Bishop Devine's comments were delusional and offensive.

He said: "Attacks on the so called 'gay lobby' are one thing but to say that gay people have no place in Holocaust memorial day is shameful.

"Fortunately most Scots and many Christians do believe in equality, dignity and respect and reject the very dark and cynical view of Scotland the bishop seeks to portray."

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