Scotland to debate marriage equality

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The Scottish Parliament has announced that a bill proposing full marriage equality will be heard within the next month.

As Scotland will not fall under the scope of the UK’s marriage equality proposal, which is entering its final stage, it will debate its own Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill. 

The Scottish Health Minister, Alex Neil, told Parliament that should the legislation be approved, same-sex marriages would take place as soon as possible, regardless of the country’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom in September 2014.

“I’m not thinking in terms of a referendum, rather the principles of the bill. Obviously we have given a commitment to introduce this legislation after the extensive consultation we have had as quickly as possible, which is what we’re doing,” said Neil. 

“I would hope the timetabling would be such that we could see this bill become law sooner rather than later.”

As many major faiths are against the plans, including the Church of Scotland (although they reiterated their support for LGBT clergy on May 20), the final bill will likely allow freedom for churches to choose whether they wish to conduct same-sex weddings.

429Magazine

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