A group of gay rights advocates has launched a petition to the Scottish Parliament  calling for a change in the law to allow two people of the same sex to get married.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network says there is a “ban” on same-sex marriage and that the High Court and the UK Government “have both denied gay couples full equality.”

LGBT Network director Nick Henderson said:

“Equality means all citizens should be treated the same, and that everyone must have the same rights under law.

“Yet the status quo ensures a system of one law for straight couples and another for gay couples.

“Whatever the similarities between civil partnerships and marriage, separate but equal is inherently unequal.

“Marriage is the strongest word we have for a declaration of total love and commitment to one another; and to deny any person that opportunity is to deny the full measure of dignity and humanity that we are all endowed with?”

The petition calls for an amendment to the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 to allow gay and lesbian couples to legally marry.

The petition also calls on the law to be changed to allow a same sex marriage to be performed by a faith group, if the religious institution consents.

Civil partnerships can only be conducted by a civil registrar.