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Scotland gay rights and marriage equality news

 

UK, Scotland: Parliament Likely to Pass Marriage Equality Bill Overwhelmingly Tuesday

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Scotland Parliament - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Scotland could join England and Wales with full marriage equality this week.

Towleroad.com reports:

MSPs are expected to pass Scotland’s marriage equality bill in an overwhelming vote on Tuesday, the Herald reports: The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill will legalise civil and religious same-sex marriages, with an “opt-in” procedure for faiths and celebrants willing to conduct ceremonies and legal protection for those who object. It also relaxes the rules on where civil marriages can take place, and establishes non-religious or “belief” marriage ceremonies. Health Secretary Alex Neil, who has piloted the law through Holyrood, will tell Parliament he expects the first same-sex marriages will take place in Scotland by the end of the year.

However, it’s possible weddings could begin there as soon as July.

In related news, one MP is taking a last whack at wrecking the bill with an amendment.

Gay Star News reports:

According to Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow Shettleston SNP politician John Mason, a devout Christian, has tabled several amendments to the bill and hopes other politicians will support them in the final vote. One of the amendments states no public sector employee should suffer any ‘detriment’ for believing in the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Mason suggests the same-sex marriage law should be delayed from coming into effect until suitable anti-discriminatory protection for public sector workers is signed into the Equality Act, which is currently passing through Westminster.

It seems unlikely that the effort will succeed.

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UK, Scotland: Marriage Equality Bill top Get Final Vote On February 4th

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Scotland Parliament - Google Maps

from Google Maps

It looks like we’re this close to getting marriage equality for Scotland.

Pink News reports:

The date of the final vote on Scotland’s equal marriage bill has been announced.
A stage 3 debate and vote will take place on 4 Feb. Tom French, policy coordinator for the Equality Network said to PinkNews.co.uk: “After six years of campaigning for equal marriage there is now less than a fortnight to go until the final vote. Scotland can be proud that we have produced one of the most progressive equal marriage bills in the world, and it vital that everyone who supports LGBT equality now contacts our MSPs to protect against any negative amendments being made and to make sure this bill passes into law with the strong majority it deserves.”

According to Pink News, 56% support the bill. I haven’t yet seen any reporting on when it would actually take effect after passage – anyone out there know?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Anti-Gay Amendments Rejected By Parliamentary Committee

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Scotland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Several attempts to water down the pending marriage equality bill in Scotland were rejected by committee this week.

Pink News reports:

The committee was tasked with considering amendments to the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill before MSPs vote on a final version of the bill early next year. On Thursday, they rejected proposed amendments that allowed civil registrars and all other public sector workers to refuse to marry same-sex couples. An amendment which would introduce a clause stating that a potential adoptive parent or foster carer’s views on marriage cannot be taken into account during the fostering or adoption process was also rejected.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “I do not consider it necessary to amend the law on fostering and adoption in relation to same-sex marriage. “It is already the case that views on same-sex marriage cannot disqualify anyone from becoming a foster carer or an adoptive parent.”

On the other hand, two pro-gay minutes were added:

Two amendments supported by the Equality Network, the Scottish LGBT equality charity, were agreed unanimously by the committee, including an amendment to allow couples with foreign civil partnerships to convert them to a marriage in Scotland, and one to allow religious and belief bodies to use gender-neutral language in marriage ceremonies if they wish.

Anyone know what the legislative track for this bill looks like, i.e. when it might actually be passed into law? It would be nice if it would coincide with the England/Wales version, which starts March 29th.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: New Poll Shows 56% Support Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

US Gay Marriage PollA new YouGov poll out of Scotland shows strong support for the pending marriage equality bill.

Pink News reports:

It’s the first poll to be released since last month’s landmark vote on equal marriage by the Scottish Parliament. 56% of Scots support the legislation going through Holyrood; 35% are opposed, while 8% are unsure. The findings have been welcomed by equal marriage campaigners who say MSPs should “take heart” from the level of support among the public.

The bill passed its first stage last month and is now in the amendment stage. The next vote will probably happen in February.

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UK, Scotland: Parliament Passes Marriage Equality Bill on First Vote 98-15

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Scotland Parliament - Google Maps

from Google Maps

The marriage equality bill in Scotland passed its first hurdle today, with a 98-15 vote in the Parliament.

The Advocate reports:

In a bipartisan vote being hailed by advocates as a crucial first step toward enacting marriage equality in Scotland, members of the Scottish Parliament voted 98-15 to move an equal marriage bill forward to a parliamentary committee. The vote, which took place Wednesday night in Scotland, essentially passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill on its first reading, allowing the legislation to move to the Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee, where lawmakers will consider amendments, before seeking a final vote from members of parliament, likely in early 2014. If the bill passes out of committee and through its third reading before the full parliament, same-sex couples could begin marrying in Scotland next year.

So now we wait for January. But with this much support, the bill will most likely become law next year.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Education Minister Does Not Support Marriage Equality

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Scotland Education Minister Alasdair AllanOn the heels of reports that the Scottish Parliament has enough votes to easily pass the marriage equality bill, comes the news that the country’s education minister does not support it.

Pink News reports:

Scotland’s Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, says he will vote against equal marriage in Wednesday’s key vote in the country’s Parliament, saying he favours the “traditional” definition of marriage. In a statement, MSP Alasdair Allan said: “Since the issue of same-sex marriage was first raised, hundreds of people in the islands have been in touch with me, the overwhelming majority of whom have expressed views in favour of continuing a traditional definition of marriage. “In responding to people, I have pointed out that I am supportive of the existing rights of same-sex couples to civil partnerships, and that I welcome the belated respect which society rightly gives gay people, but that I believe difficult issues are raised around the specific question of marriage.”

The first vote should happen tomorrow. It looks like the bill should pass in a landslide.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Parliament Has the Votes to Pass Marriage Equality Bill

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Scotland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

It looks like Scotland’s marriage equality bill should pass its first hurdle easily this week.

On Top Magazine reports:

A vote count shows that as may as 116 out of 127 members of the parliament of Scotland could favor a gay marriage bill set for debate next week. The Scottish Mail on Sunday published a vote count which shows 86 lawmakers in favor, 10 undecided and 20 refusing to answer. Only 11 MSPs have confirmed that they plan to vote against the measure as it faces its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday. While a final vote remains nearly a year away, securing approval “in principle” is likely to ensure passage.

Previous reporting has said that the law would take effect sometime next year, but the On Top Magazine article says weddings wouldn’t begin until 2015. Anyone have any more information on that?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Government Says Marriage Equality Bill Proceeding on Schedule

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

ScotlandResponding to criticism from the leader of the Tories, the Scottish government says the marriage equality bill is on schedule.

Pink News reports:

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party and the UK’s most senior gay politician said in a PinkNews interview that it was highly likely that Scotland’s Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill would soon pass – but that the process could have happened a lot sooner. “I am not in charge of the Scottish Government’s timetabling,” Ms Davidson said to PinkNews.co.uk. “What I can say is that, with this bill, as with any number of subjects in Scotland, there’s a lot in Scotland that’s not happening right now because the entire focus in the government is on the referendum in September next year.”

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk: “These claims are wrong. The legislation for same-sex marriage is proceeding on schedule as planned, and with wide cross-party support. “The Scottish Government has undertaken two detailed consultations on the issue of same sex marriage, the second of which only finished in March 2013. Given the sensitive nature of same sex marriage, it was important to make sure that we got the legislation right.

The Scottish bill is due to get its first debate and vote next week. Many in Scotland are hoping that the law will be in place at about the same time that marriage equality takes effect in England and Wales.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Marriage Equality Bill Gets Committee Approval

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

ScotlandThe marriage equality bill in Scotland is finally starting to move ahead.

Pink News reports:

Legislation to introduce equal marriage in Scotland has been backed by a committee looking into the proposals. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill still needs to go through three stages of voting in the Scottish Parliament before it can become law. A crucial Stage One vote on the principle of the bill will take place in the week starting 18 November. If all goes according to plan, a Stage 3 vote is likely to happen in January or February. The report concludes four months of evidence taking and consideration by the Equal Opportunities Committee.

Supporters in Scotland are hoping to have the law come into force to coincide with the England/Wales law, which takes effect next summer. That leaves just Northern Ireland, which has been lagging far behind. Even Ireland is planning a referendum on the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Scotland: Anti-Marriage Equality Group Threatens Legal Action Against Bill

Monday, October 14th, 2013

scotland-for-marriageTaking a cue from their US peers, and anti-marriage equality group in Scotland is threatening to sue to block the pending marriage equality bill.

Pink News reports:

Scotland For Marriage are threatening to seek a judicial review of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in an attempt to prevent same-sex marriage being legalised in Scotland. The group, made up of religious opponents of equality, has taken legal advice from Aidan O’Neil, QC, who has said that ministers acted “unlawfully” by bringing forward the legislation without a full consultation. But the claims have been dismissed by Scotland’s Equality Network.

And just like in the US, they will lose once it becomes clear that they have no case.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.