London: The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain has described the government`s plans for gay marriage as undemocratic and a "shambles".
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said the government had no mandate to push through same-sex marriage laws.
"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," Nichols was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said earlier that no church would be forced to conduct a gay wedding. The first gay couples are expected to marry in church within the next 18 months.