Catholic bishops are to write to the Northern Ireland Assembly in opposition of the legalisation of the same-sex marriage motion which is to be debated by the Assembly in Stormont on Monday, 29 April, 2013.

The Assembly have already received letters of opposition from the Presbyterian Church and will soon soon be urged to vote against the motion by Catholic bishops also.

Speaking on BBC program “The View”, Fr Tim Bartlett from the Catholic Council for Social Affairs claimed that the marriage between a man and woman “still matters in society”, reports.

“Mums and dads are important,” he said, “and that difference between men and women in the rearing of children is important and society has always recognised that and given it a special place."

In 2012, the motion that same-sex couples should have the right to marry was rejected following much opposition by religious leaders. This year, 2013 is faced with the same opposition from both Catholic and Presbyterian sources.

Presbyterian church leaders also wrote to the Assembly before the October 2012 debate on same-sex marriage, stating their opposition to any change in the legal definition of marriage.

This year, a letter to the Assembly written by the co-convener of the Presbyterian church and society committee, Dr Norman Hamilton, calls for "a much needed debate across all sections of our community on the role of the state in shaping a wide range of public and private relationships,” writes the BBC.