A reader writes:

Whilst marriage equality legislation could get through in the UK, at a push, there is a more fundamental reason why Brown would never attempt to promote it. Such legislation would be very strongly resisted by the Catholic hierarchy in the UK. 

Brown would be very wary of upsetting the Catholic vote because of how important it is in Scotland as a significant backlash would potentially have two major downsides.

The first is that the Catholic vote is essential to the number of Labour MPs in Scotland without which it would be very difficult for Labour to win any future general election, especially in the present climate. Possibly the only safe seat would Brown’s own in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. The main beneficiary of electoral meltdown in Scotland would be the nationalist SNP which leads to the second downside. If the SNP pick up major gains in the general election they would almost certainly go on to strengthen their position at the next Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2011. That would increase the possibility of a referendum on Scottish independence quite strongly and whilst at present there is no real appetite in Scotland for independence a significantly stronger SNP might be able to make a much more forcible argument for this come to realisation. For these reasons Brown would row in the opposite direction for all he is worth.

This is news to me.

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