A group of Muslim leaders in Scotland has said marriage equality would be an “attack” on the faith and recommended voters do not back candidates who favour such a move in upcoming local elections.

Scottish papers report a statement issued by the Council of Glasgow Imams which says the “main purpose of marriage is, of course, the procreation of children”.

Civil partnerships have “accommodated” gay couples and there is “no need for such unions to be blessed as marriages by faith institutions”, it continued.

The Scottish government’s consultation on marriage equality closed at the end of last year and, in a similar way to the proposals currently being consulted on in England and Wales, the Scottish government has said it does not intend to force faiths to marry gay couples under any potential legislation.

Glasgow is home to roughly three quarters of Scotland’s Muslim population, but the BBC said the message would be sent out across the country ahead of elections urging faithful not to vote for pro-marriage equality candidates.

The move to civil marriage equality is backed by the leaders of the four opposition parties and the SNP government has said it is “minded” to introduce it.

Coming ahead of local elections, the BBC quotes the statement as saying: “This resolution has been prepared by the imams (religious leaders) of the Muslim community following lengthy discussions which have taken place to address deep concerns in our community.

“Furthermore, we must now make it clear that in the following days, preceding the local authority election in Scotland on Thursday May 3 we will be urging our community from the pulpit to make sure that any person they consider voting for does not favour the proposed legislation.”

It went on: “A family is a man and a woman and children. If the government turns a family into a man and a man or a woman and a woman with no procreative faculties, what would become of our society, our civilisation?

“This is a serious question that deserves very serious consideration by the Scottish government. Accordingly, we urge the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to look very seriously at this fundamentally important issue and to reconsider the full implications of what she is proposing.

“We wish to inform both her and First Minister Alex Salmond that we are deeply unhappy and vigorously opposed to the proposed legislation for same-sex marriage.

“There is no scope for compromise on this issue and we simply say this: No to same-sex marriage.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The consultation on same-sex marriage and registration of civil partnerships has now closed and we are now analysing the responses and considering what next steps to take.

“As was made clear when the consultation was launched, while we have expressed our initial view, we have given an assurance that all opinions will be listened to, no final views have been reached and therefore no decisions have been taken.

“The analysis of the responses will be published later in the spring.”