Equal Marriage – Scotland goes ahead of England and Wales

Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network, the Scottish campaign for marriage equality, thinks Scotland could make marriage equality lawful by the end of next year. Scotland has already completed its public consultation and has bolder plans for change. Meanwhile the consultation on marriage equality for lesbians, bisexuals and gay men and transgender people in England and Wales doesn’t end until mid June. Scotland plans to move more boldly: it plans to allow churches and other faith groups to be able to celebrate LGBT weddings if they choose to offer these. The coalition government for England and Wales has set its face against any such freedom of religion.

Catholics for equality rainbow graphicOn the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme on Sunday, the Conservative Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, said marriage equality was “clearly not the number one priority” in England and Wales, because it was not included in the Queen’s Speech plans for new laws this session of Parliament. This is hardly surprising when the public consultation doesn’t end until 14th June. However the coalition Equalities Minister has reassured campaigners in England and Wales that the government is still firmly behind the proposals for marriage equality.

Have your say on the England and Wales marriage equality consultation here.

Scotland takes the marriage equality lead

Scotland Speak Out For Marriage Equality

GayStarNews has just published a major feature on the lead Scotland is taking on marriage equality. Scotland’s lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender marriage proposals are ahead of England and Wales in several ways, most especially because Scotland plans to allow religious ceremonies to be offered by any faith-based organisations which chooses this, while faiths that disagree won’t be forced to provide LGBT weddings. Scottish same-sex marriage campaigners are therefore calling on the Scottish government to show it means what it says now, and lead the way on marriage equality for the UK.

If Scotland does what it plans and allows churches and faiths to offer LGBT marriages, that would make it harder for Westminster to prevent faiths in England and Wales from offering this.


Scottish Faith Groups want to offer Same-Sex Weddings

A broad alliance of faith groups has published an open letter, sent to all Members of Scottish Parliament, demanding the right to conduct weddings for same-sex couples.

Faith in Marriage

Faith in Marriage rally of Scottish faith groups keen to offer lesbian and gay weddings

The alliance, called Faith in Marriage, include members of the United Reformed Church, the Quakers, the Unitarians, Buddhists, the Pagan Federation, Liberal Judaism, the Iona Community, the Open Episcopal Church, and the Metropolitan Community Church.


Civil Partnerships just not good enough, and ‘freedom of belief’ requires marriage

The alliance said that civil partnerships were not good enough, are discriminatory, and therefore are “an unacceptable infringement by the state on our freedom of religion and belief.”

freedom of religion means the right to gay marriage

my freedom of religion means my right to gay marriage

Faith in Marriage was set up as a response to the anti-equality Scotland for Marriage, which is made up of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Christian Institute, the Evangelical Alliance and Destiny Churches. The Church of Scotland hasn’t joined it but also opposes lesbian and gay marriage. Scotland for Marriage is leafleting every household in Glasgow against the proposals before the local elections on Thursday, at a cost of £15,000. They also plan to use mobile advertising vans against lesbian and gay marriage.

‘We demand religious weddings’ says letter to Members of the Scottish Parliament


Two-thirds of Scots support gay marriage 


EQUALITY campaigners have called for swift legislation to allow Scots the right to same-sex marriages, after a new study showed the number who support the move has soared.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey has revealed that in 2010 almost two-thirds of people (61%) supported same-sex marriage, up from 41% in 2002.

The report comes after a split emerged in the SNP over the issue of same-sex marriages. SNP MEP Alyn Smith criticised colleagues only days after John Mason, a nationalist colleague tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament, backed by three other nationalist MSPs, stating that no one should be forced to approve of same-sex marriage.

The survey also asked whether “gay or lesbian couples should have the right to marry one another if they want to”. Just 19% disagreed, while 18% neither agreed nor disagreed.

- Herald Scotland

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