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Scottish government advised to legalise gay marriage

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  1. Fantastic.

    This would make the ban in England and Wales utterly untenable.

    Message to Stonewall – if you try to sabotage this through the underhand homophobia of Ben Summerskill then there will be HELL to pay for you.

    1. sumerskill, rainbow tower hamlets etc , all treacherous to lgbt.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 9:58am

        We do seem to have some two-tier LGBT groups.

  2. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 11:52am

    Great news.

    Yes David lets hope this goes some way to forcing the rest of the UK to follow, though I think it’s a certainty.

    Everyone should have the right to be as happy (or as miserable) in a marriage.

  3. Brilliant news. Edinburgh would be a beautiful place to get married. ;)

    Let’s hope we’re not too far behind here in little old England!

  4. Sod the ability to get married in church! I just want to be MARRIED in LAW!!

    1. Very well said! I don’t see why the coalition government
      Is making such a big deal out of allowing religious ceremonies
      In those religions that are happy to perform them.

      1. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 12:57pm

        Sadly the Church of England aren’t just playing on the religious aspect, they truely intend to stop any reference to allowing same sex couples to be included in the word, marriage even though Civil marriage has nothing to do with them.

    2. Yes that’s fine, but the next forseeable step for us gays in the UK is to get the religious blessing of our CPs with possible hymns being sung, symbols, ceremonies etc. It won’t make sense to have a religious CP for gays and only have civil mariages with no religious connotations…is the govt going to change the civl marriages regulations to allow religious elements also???? It’s getting quite messy!!!, it’s almost easier to bring in marriages and leave the CPs as it is.

  5. I am doubtful the SNP government in Scotland would put this into action. The SNP have a very patchy record when it comes to LGBT rights. They take financial donations from very homophobic individuals and are a bit too chummy with the Catholic Church. Whilst it would be nice to see it happen, I’m not going to hold my breath.

    1. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 1:00pm

      Isn’t the Scottish Parliament a coalition at the moment? It’s not their decision to make alone.

      Anyway I’m sure when any person of sense will see the revenue it’ll bring they’ll change their minds.

      1. Tim Hopkins 17 Mar 2011, 1:30pm

        The Scottish Govt is an SNP govt, but it is a minority govt, so needs the support of at least one other party to win any vote in the Parliament.

        The Scottish Parliament is dissolved next Tuesday, for the election on 5th May.

        The revenue point is good – Connecticut has made millions in the past three years or so providing marriages to people from other states. If Scotland was to introduce same-sex marriage before England and Wales, maybe people would come here to marry. I guess it would depend on what recognition there was for Scottish marriages in England.

      2. It’s a balanced aka ‘hung’ parliament Jock, but no coalition. SNP are largest party and doing minority rule dependent on striking deals on things to get them through, or being moderate / agreeable in their proposals.

  6. The SNP government in Scotland have refused to make gay marriage illegal over the last 4 years despite petitions urging them to do so. Their reason was something about it being too difficult as it create problems with tax, which is a UK reserved issue. The SNP are not consistent on gay equality and have shown themselves to be willing to support homophobic ministers and parliamentery candidates, and also been prepared to impliment anti-gay policies over the last 4 years. I hope people will take that into consideration when voting in May.

    1. de Villiers 18 Mar 2011, 8:26am

      > The SNP government in Scotland have refused to make gay marriage illegal

      do you mean legal?

      1. Yes, I did! Typo!

  7. This doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Just because the EHRC have advised it, it doesn’t mean the Scottish Government (whoever wins in May) has to follow that advice. It’s the same with the Scottish Parliament’s Committee system, which is supposed to scrutinise legislation and then advise MSP’s if it should be voted for, but they don’t need to follow that advice. They do what they want in the end, or what their party wants.

  8. Martin Lawrence 17 Mar 2011, 3:41pm

    Seen from the Sunny South Coast (guess where?) of England, it strikes me that this might ignite the Scottish love of getting one up on us, and inspire them to get it through asap. That would be great news in England and Wales, because then it would just have to be a formality: you can’t, in practice, have marriage done in one part of the UK not recognised elsewhere. So go for it, you Jocks!

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:01am

      Yep, thats what I’m hoping.

  9. Sorry, my first comment should have said that the SNP have refused to make gay marriage LEGAL, not illegal!

  10. BennieM, the fact that the Scottish government says that it would be difficult to open civil marriage for gays because of difficulties with taxes as a UK reserved issue is nothing more than a red herring. In fact, it would compel the rest of the UK to follow suit, sooner rather than later, instead of foot-dragging at No. 10 Downing Street.

    1. Tim Hopkins 17 Mar 2011, 4:12pm

      There is more than one solution to the issue of reserved matters like tax, if Scotland were to legislate for same-sex marriage before Westminster. All overseas same-sex marriages are already recognised in the UK as if they were civil partnerships. So, with no change of UK policy, Scottish same-sex marriages could be recognised in the rest of the UK, and for reserved matters like tax, as if they were civil partnerships. That would of course not be the best solution, but workable.

      A better solution would be if Westminster was prepared to recognise Scottish same-sex marriages as mariages, but that requires an advance in UK Govt policy from where we are now.

      As soon as Westminster legislates for same-sex marriage in the rest of Britain, the problem disappears of course. At the moment I would not want to take bets on which Parliament would do this first, or whether in fact it would be coordinated across Britain.

  11. The suggestion that the SNP are homophobic in any way is frankly ludicrous… I’ve never met a single member of the party who has ever said or done anything to me that could be construed as anti-gay.

    Not like Scottish Labour to peddle blatant untruths though, eh? When voting in May, I’ll be voting for the person I think will best represent my constituency with my first vote, adn with my second I’ll be voting for the government I want to see. And if it’s a choice between Salmond or Gray, Sturgeon or Baillie, Swinney or Kerr, MacAskill or Baker… It’s not one that’s going to require much effort or thought!!

    1. Why is it whenever anyone critiscises the SNP’s record on gay equality, they are automatically branded a Labour stooge? I don’t support Labour, or any party for that matter. The SNP has senior members like Fergus Ewing and Roseanna Cunningham who have spoken out in support of discrimination against gay people. The SNP government helped an adoption agency to get around the sexual orientation laws so they can still refuse service to gay people, and the SNP have picked candidates with strong religious views, and even people who have been linked to homophobia, in recent years such as David Kerr and Osama Saeed. When the sexual orientation regulations were being voted on in Westminster, only one of the 6 SNP MPs voted for it. One, Angus MacNeil, voted against them and the rest, including Alex Salmond, were absent altogether.When you add to all that who funds the SNP, Brian Souter, then you do have to ask questions about the SNP’s committment to gay equality.

  12. Marriage®™ Copyright © by God, inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Yeah right. You wish.

  13. It won’t happen. Not with Brian Souter propping up SNP funds. When it came to the repeal of Section 2a (Section 28 in the rest of the UK) the SNP were the very last on board to get rid of it. In fact they didn’t want to. And it showed. Albeit was a loathsome piece of Tory Government policy, a party which Salmond hates with a vengeance. God is bigger and the Catholic Church in Scotland bigger still.
    Equal marriage rights won’t happen in Scotland with the SNP still in power. Every other party in Scotland will vote for it, I am sure, if only to give Salmond and Souter a slap in the face if for nothing else.

  14. As a proud Scottish American, this makes me even more proud of my Motherland!

    1. de Villiers 18 Mar 2011, 8:27am

      A Scottish-American?

  15. I guess the tax issues may also be related to hetero CPs, there would be an additional cost as well. If both marriage and CP equality are to be taken in account at the same time then the issue of introducing a new straight “instituion” would also have to be discussed. I can’t see how Scotland would be able to bring in CP equlaity and have straight CPs totally ignored as soon as they cross the border. You can do it for French people but not for Scots people. It would be ridiculous.

    1. Tim Hopkins 17 Mar 2011, 6:23pm

      You are quite right that mixed-sex CP is the harder issue for Scotland to move ahead on first (compared to same-sex mariage), because a Scottish mixed-sex CP would not be recognised south of the border, or, probably, for reserved purposes like inheritance tax.

      However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Scotland should not seek to move ahead on mixed-sex CP, as well as same-sex marriage, if there are delays on this at Westminster. After all, exactly the same issues arise for same-sex marriages in the few US states that have them. They are not recognised in other US states, and they are not recognised for federal law purposes including federal taxation. People still theink they’re worth fighting for on a state-by-state basis though.

  16. Why is this report only being done for Scotland? Why not the rest of the UK? I guess I don’t understand why the ECHR singles out Scotland for a report and not the rest of the UK. If it’s unfair in Scotland then it’s unfair everywhere. Is it because Stonewall or the govt hasn’t commissioned a report here?

    1. Because Scotland has a devolved parliament and can make it’s own laws. Scottish law is essentially based on the original British (English) law, but it has a number of other variations and changes.

      1. I guess I understand that but I don’t understand why the EHRC (Scot) has produced this report and the EHRC for the rest of the UK hasn’t. The EHRC moto is “creating a fairer Britain” ie the whole of Britain, what is relevant to Scotland is relevent to the rest of the UK. Why this report solely for the people of Scotland when marriage equality is an issue for all of us. When are we going to get a similar report, this one is only be used for Scotland by Scottish LGBT campaigners. I don’t get it..there is no National camaign????

        1. Craig Nelson 17 Mar 2011, 11:47pm

          I’m sure something will follow at the UK level at some point. One difference is that Scotland is re-electing its parliament in may and this forms the backdrop to the manifesto’s and possible coalition agreement. Also the scottish context is different because there have been formal petitions to The scottish parliament so Scotland is somewhat further advanced.

          1. I guess you’re right but we’re at the start of our govt and the lib dems have already adopted a policy of marriage equlaity. There was also a marriage equality petition put to the lab govt in its last yr which was rejected and I read recently that the Southhampton university labour club were in the process of doing a petition and had Alan Whitehead and Chris Huhne in suport of it with possibly Caroline Noakes in support. I actually think Eng/Wales might be ahead since we already have an elected govt, we don;t have to go thru all that. That’s why it’s surprising that the EHRC hasn’t produced something like this for us.

    2. Tim Hopkins 18 Mar 2011, 3:57am

      The simple answer is that under the law governing the operation of the EHRC, its policy on Scottish devolved issues is decided by its Scotland Committee. They chose a policy of support for equal marriage a year ago. That led to a one-day conference in Jan, which led to this report.

      EHRC policy for England is set by the Commission – their GB Board in effect – who do not yet have a policy on equal marriage.

  17. Charles Gormley 17 Mar 2011, 8:35pm

    The SNP took campaign money from Brian Souter, Stagecoach owner and massive homophobe. They took more money from him recently. They are VERY attached the the roman catholic church and were supportive of their right to discriminate against gay couples in adoption. To suggest that they are not, at the very least, apathetic about gay rights is laughable. Frankly however, even if they do get back as a minority government, this does not mean that the other parties cannot combine and introduce a bill to make this law, but sadly, I do not see this happening either. I will be surprised if this happens before it happens down south, although I could be wrong.

  18. Arent labour about to whup the SNP anyway? What are the Scots labour party like on gay rights?

    1. Charles Gormley 17 Mar 2011, 11:19pm

      It is by no means certain that Labour are about to whup the SNP, and Labour are, frankly, silent on the issue also.

    2. Tim Hopkins 18 Mar 2011, 4:03am

      Only two Scottish political parties have so far announced policy in favour of equal marriage: the LibDems and the Greens. Of course the Equality Network has been pressing all the parties on this, and in 3 or 4 weeks we will see what, if anything, they each have in their Scottish Parliament election manifestos.

  19. We all deserve to marry the person we love.

  20. Good news, and would be made even better if Pink News could pay heed to the EHRC and the Equality Network – it’s “same-sex marriage”, not “gay marriage” – it’s not only for gays!

  21. I want state marriage so me and my bf can one day officially be husbands.

  22. de Villiers 18 Mar 2011, 8:30am

    Is the SNP on the right or the left? I am sorry to say that my thoughts on politics tend to centre on France and England.

    Abroad, many people consider England to be the whole of the UK. I have never really followed the governments of Scotland or Wales. I understand that they are not sovereign Parliaments.

  23. I think that when the consultation on marriage equality is official and underway, the ECHR might do what it did in the Scottish case. As far as I am aware, the Conservative party hasn’t yet adopted marriage equality as official party policy, unlike the Liberal Democrats. I suspect that when the consultation begins, the Labour Party also will probably endorse marriage equality as official policy.

  24. David McN, absolutely right! The term “gay marriage” is political speke for right wingers and religious nutters to villify the very notion of same-sex civil marriage and in so doing, barr gay couples from access thereto. They use it with impunity to stir up emotions and homophobia. I prefer the term, “gender neutral” over gay and same-sex marriage terminology.

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