Same sex marriage bill published in Scotland

A same sex marriage bill has been published in Scotland.

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Same sex marriage bill published in Scotland

A bill to allow same sex marriage in Scotland has been published.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said the legislation marked "a historic moment for Scotland and for equal rights in our country".

"A marriage is about love, not gender. And that is the guiding principle at the heart of this bill.

"At the same time, we also want to protect freedom of speech and religion, and that's what the bill sets out to do.

"That is why it will be up to the religious body or individual celebrant to decide if they want to perform same sex marriages and there will be no obligation to opt in."

– Alex Neil, Health Secretary

The gay rights charity, the Equality Network, held a celebration outside the Scottish parliament this morning.

"By passing equal marriage legislation, our MSPs will not only be giving same-sex couples an equal right to celebrate their love through marriage, they will also be sending out a message to the world about the kind of fair and progressive country Scotland wants to be."

– Tom French, Policy co-ordinator, Equality Network

But the campaign group Scotland for Marriage is strongly opposed to the plans.

"The Scottish Government pledged to protect free speech and other civil liberties but they have not fulfilled their promises.

" Scotland for Marriage now has more supporters - almost 50,000 - than the combined memberships of the mainstream political parties in Scotland added together.

"Teachers, parents, school kids, foster carers, NHS chaplains and others in everyday life must not be penalised for backing traditional marriage.

"We have warned for more than a year that safeguards and law changes are required to do this - but our views have been ignored so far."

– Scotland for Marriage Spokersperson


Scottish celebs back same sex marriage in new video

A new video campaign has been launched urging people to back the introduction of same-sex marriage in Scotland.

"It's Time" features appearances from Scottish celebrities including Brian Cox, Lorraine Kelly, Alan Cumming and The Proclaimers.

The video was was produced for the Equality Network who are campaigning to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill is expected to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament this week.

The bill, which is supported by 88 of Holyrood's 129 MSPs, will end the legal definition of marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.

“We’re incredibly proud of the ‘It’s Time’ video campaign, which demonstrates the breadth of support that exists for equal marriage in Scotland, and reflects the values of equality and compassion that have always been at the heart of our society."

– Tom French, policy co-ordinator for the Equality Network
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