The Scottish Parliament was asked yesterday to review the Marriage Act with regard to gay marriage.

A request from the Public Petitions committee has asked MSPs to reexamine the act and detail any reasons for refusing to amend it.

The petition, brought by Nick Henderson of the LGBT Network, calls for an amendment to the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 to allow gay and lesbian couples to legally marry.

It 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.

Currently, civil partnerships can only be conducted by a civil registrar.
A number of MSPs have spoken out in favour of the move, with some calling for Scotland to lead the way on same-sex marriage in Europe.

Labour’s Marlyn Glen said the call was part of “ongoing progress in society” when it came before Parliament’s Petitions Committee.

John Wilson, of the Scottish Nationalist Party, said he strongly felt that the marriage legislation should “encompass the whole of society”.

The petition is on hold and a number of religious and non-religious groups will be asked to submit evidence.

Parliament will be asked to clarify its situation on amending the legislation and, if against, asked to explain its reasons for not amending it.

Earlier this month, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Scottish Catholic Church, attacked plans to give gay couples the right to become foster parents, calling them “misguided and inappropriate”.

The proposal would give gay couples the same fostering rights as straight couples in an effort to address Scotland’s shortfall in temporary carers.