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UK, Scotland: Holyrood Overwhelmingly Passes Marriage Equality Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Rainbow Over ScotlandThe Scottish Parliament passed the marriage equality by 105-18 votes yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

A bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Scotland on Tuesday received final approval. The 105-18 vote in the Scottish Parliament took place after more than three hours of debate. Iceland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal and Spain are among the 15 countries in which gays and lesbians can legally marry.

The Equality Network reports that a rainbow appeared over the Parliament yesterday.

The bill’s passage will also benefit transgender and interest people in Scotland.

Pink News reports:

The passage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill marks a significant step forward in terms of legal equality for trans and intersex people in Scotland. The Scottish Transgender Alliance and Equality Network secured a number of amendments to the bill ensuring that the needs of trans and intersex people are at the core of this historic legislation.

When the law comes into force trans people will finally be able to have the gender they identify as legally recognised regardless of whether they are married or in a civil partnership. Our successful spousal veto amendment means that even if a trans person’s spouse does not consent, they will still be able to obtain legal gender recognition. In passing this amendment, MSPs from across Scotland’s political parties recognised that access to gender recognition is a matter of personal autonomy and a human right which should not be able to be blocked by another person.

Churches will not be forced to hold same sex weddings.

Towleroad.com reports:

Religious and belief bodies can “opt in” to perform same-sex marriages.Ministers said no part of the religious community would be forced to hold such ceremonies in churches. During a debate at Holyrood, MSPs rejected amendments which were said to provide “protection” for groups and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage.

When will the weddings begin?

Buzzfeed reports:

The exact date for the first same-sex marriage in Scotland depends on when the Westminster parliament amends existing legislation to ensure officials who refuse to conduct same-sex marriages are protected under the law.

Most sources are betting on October.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

UK: Scotland Likely to Legalize Marriage Equality Today

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

ScotlandIt looks like today is the day that marriage equality will come to Scotland.

Gay Star News reports:

People all over Scotland are awaiting the final vote today (4 February), finding out whether it will join the 16 other countries in the world to allow same-sex marriage. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill is expected to be approved by parliament later today. But while a shock still could happen, it is looking likely it will pass around 6pm local time. Under the new legislation, religious bodies will be able to opt in to perform same-sex marriages but individual celebrants who feel it would go against their faith will be protected.

Reports vary as to when the law would take effect. Some say next year, but others say as soon as July or October of 2014.

Pink News is liveblogging the event, although we had some trouble with their site today.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

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.

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

UK, Scotland: First Vote on Marriage Equality Bill Today

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Scotland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Scotland is finally moving ahead on the marriage equality bill, and Scotland’s Health Secretary has urged MSPs to support it.

Pink News reports:

Ahead of a key vote, Scotland’s Health Secretary Alex Neil has urged MSPs to support the country’s same-sex marriage bill, saying it would “send a clear signal that in a modern Scotland we are passionate promoters and defenders of equality”. Mr Neil said: “At the heart of this issue there is one simple fact: a marriage is about love, not gender. I believe it’s essential that all couples in Scotland know they have the same rights and privileges, and the same ability to get married. I hope that our national Parliament takes this opportunity to send a clear signal that in a modern Scotland we are passionate promoters and defenders of equality, and I would urge MSPs to support the bill.”

The bill has strong support and is likely to pass this first hurdle easily. 98 of 129 members have already voiced support for the bill.

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: Marriage Equality Bill to Be Fast Tracked

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Scotland Parliament

from Apple Maps

It looks like the Scottish government plans to fast-track the marriage equality bill.

The Herald reports:

In an unusual move, MSPs will hold double sessions starting earlier in the day just to get through the weight of information from a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals who have been asked for their views on shaping the new laws. The Scottish Government faced accusations earlier this year that the equality legislation was slipping behind schedule and progress at Westminster for similar reform, but Ministers succeeded in publishing the Bill before the summer recess and have made clear that they expect the new law to be expedited as soon as possible. A Government source said: “After previous accusations about delays you can be sure that there will be no hold-ups on this.”

The government plans to have the bill ready for Royal assent by March, 2014.

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

Scotland, United Kingdom: Gay Activists Plan Mock Wedding Outside Holyrood

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Scottish Gay Activists Plan Mock Wedding Outside HolyroodGay rights campaigners are to hold a mock wedding outside Holyrood as a sign of support for same sex marriage.

The staged event comes ahead of the Scottish government making its views known on the issue.

Currently the law in Scotland, as in the the rest of the UK, allows civil partnerships between couples of the same sex.

See the Full Story at BBC News

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

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