Gay marriage plan undemocratic: UK's top priest
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.