Scotland's most senior Catholic has urged the Scottish Government to hold a referendum on proposals to legalise same-sex marriage.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien said a vote should be held because of "intense public interest" in the issue.
The proposal to legalise gay marriage resulted in the biggest response to any Government consultation with almost 80,000 responses, and ignited a debate between gay rights supporters and the Catholic Church.
At the start of the consultation, which closed in December, the Government said it "tends towards the view" that same-sex marriage should be introduced, although faith groups and their celebrants should not be obliged to solemnise the ceremonies.
It is expected to announce its plans for the legislation this week.
Cardinal O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, highlighted the fact that the marriage consultation received three times more responses than the Government's consultation on the independence referendum, which saw more than 26,000 people share their views.
He said: "The Scottish Government's consultation on redefining marriage had three times more respondents than the consultation on the constitution, demonstrating clearly that far more people are concerned about fundamental matters of morality at the present time.
"Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial that we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue. Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide."
Earlier this month, Cardinal O'Brien, who has previously described the potential law change as "madness", authorised a plan to raise £100,000 through special church collections to support the Scotland For Marriage campaign against same-sex marriage.
He said: "Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defence."