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Scottish government pledge to begin ‘process of consultation’ on gay marriage

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  1. Jock S. Trap 6 Jun 2011, 11:54am

    Let’s hope it doesn’t take long and gets a good result.

    1. Let’s hope there is an actual timetable set far as I know the timetable the Tory/Lib Dem govt has set out for us lot is ongoing with no end date, let’s hope the Scottish govt back up this consultation process with a definite timetable, after all can’t be hard to actually come out with some definite dates and milestones to be achieved by a certain dates….so easy to drag things out isn’t it without actually achieving anything..

      1. Jock S. Trap 6 Jun 2011, 2:29pm

        I just hope they both don’t expect the other to finish first leaving this subject unresolved.
        I agree their needs to be a length of time indicated so that we all know where we stand on the issue of Marriage.
        I think the UK sonsultation starts next month but I don’t think they need to carry on hoping no-one notices.
        I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear something about 2014/15.
        As far as I’m concerned thats why too long.
        2012/13 would be better but to be honest I would prefer it yesterday.

  2. Why is there a need for a ‘consultation’ on this?

    The fact that same sex couples are denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage solely because they are gay; and that civil partnership apartheid legislation was created with the sole intent of avoiding equality; means there is nothing to consult on.

    A number of questions:

    1. How long is this ‘consultation going to take’. I think 3 months maximum is enough (purely to avoid suspicion that this consultation is being used to keep us quiet – remember there is nothing to consult about – marriage equality is what were are due as equal members of society – no consultation necessary.

    2. How long after this 3 month consultation is finished will there be marriage equality.

    The SNP needs a deadline.

    Unless there is marriage equality in Scotland by December 2012 then they can be regarded as liars and opportunists who believe that the LGBT community are 2nd class citizens.

    1. I’m sorry, but that’s utter tripe.

      There MUST be a consultation. Governments cannot go around fiddling with laws without speaking to the people. That’s not right.

      Also, I’m glad you for one are so sure that you know what the country wants, but meanwhile, in the real world, there are a lot of questions to consider.

      Firstly, what do people want? Should we have both marriages and CPs for both couples? Scrap all of that and make one new system? Bin the CPs and let any two couples marry?

      Secondly, what powers does the Scottish Parliament have? There is some dubiety over what is reserved and what is devolved, and this may have longer-term issues.

      1. Thirdly, you must consider what other things any legal change will have. You have to ensure, to the best of your ability, that there are no unintended consequences, or things missed out (for people who have gotten married elsewhere for example – what if the Scottish Government acknowledged gay marriages elsewhere, but the UK Government wouldn’t recognise it for taxation purposes for example?)

        It is this sort of do-now, think-later attitude that is the reason so many of our laws are screwed up. Let’s invest the time and make sure we get something people want, and are happy with.

        1. There needs to be a deadline for this consultation.

          Otherwise it can be regarded as merely an excuse by the SNP for doing nothing – like the Tories are doing in England

      2. Haven’t a lot of these issues been adressed already in Scotland in the form of a couple (I think) petitions. The UK doesn’t recognise straight CP (end of story) but recognises foreing gay marriages. Is Scotland to wait now until the UK does something just becuase their laws aren’t in step. What was the outcome of the previous petitions? Yes, consultation, but what is the deadline/timetable? Is there one?

        1. Jock S. Trap 6 Jun 2011, 2:41pm

          As most polls suggest the majority of the UK population support Marriage Equality isn’t it time those that we voted in by the public listened to the public.

      3. Jock S. Trap 6 Jun 2011, 2:39pm

        Sorry Gregor I find a lot of that crap.
        You seem to be making it far more complicated than it is.
        This is about allowing all Equally to marry and hopefully all Equally to have a Civil Partnership.
        If as you suggest it was all scrapped and made way for a new system them how would that be right?
        To change a system just because ‘them Gays’ want it just isn’t right and I don’t see any other country doing it.
        That my friend is just one of many excuses though I expect they will used to stall progress on this subject.
        All that needs to be done is for those Religious Nut-jobs and the government to see that the world doesn’t case in on itself by allowing marriage Equality.
        I think scientist in the likes of the Swiss alps might be more to blame for that.
        (However I still expect somehow it will be because of us Gays instead – Oh look I captured some Anti-Matter – Oh look whats happens if…………………………………………………………………………………………………

        1. Making laws IS complicated. We’ve got one chance to get this right – let’s not foul things up by rushing things through and ruining it for the transgendered community (for example).

          I don’t understand the second half of your post, sorry.

          1. Complete rubbish.

            The only complicated thing here is that Labour invented a brand new CP law to avoid legislating for equality.

            It’s simple enough to sort out the mess – scrap CP’s in their entirety and amend legislation for full equality.

            It really is not complicated.

            These idiot politicians must really think we’re stupid if they think we can’t see through their pathetic ruses.

            I suggested a deadline of December 2012 for full marriage equality in Scotland. That is PLENTY of time.

            Likewise if England does not have marriage equality by the next election we can take that as proof that the Tories believe that we are 2nd class citizens.

    2. Jock S. Trap 6 Jun 2011, 2:32pm

      The reason for a consultation is more about legal between state and religion. See whats happening in California and this is why we need to make sure the details are right and nothing could backfire.
      I agree though their should be a time limit on this consultation.

      1. concerned resident of E3 7 Jun 2011, 7:54am

        actually I would guess the main issue is that technically there will be issues relating to UK national and Scottish only juristictions and the implications if Scotland were to go it alone. Consultations are more common in this form of legislation than they are in England and it has led to fairer and smoother transitions into wellthought out legislation for the most part.

        1. There is already a disparity between the UK and Scot in that Scot does not have that ever so useless change in the Equalities act to allow a secular CP on religious premises. It’s obvious if they want straight CPs in Scotland then they won’t be recognised in the rest of the UK, if they go for marriage equality only then the UK will doubtless give recognition of the SS marriage in the same way as it does any other foreign one. If CP equality is to be pursued at the same time without some agreement with the UK then they’re not going to get anywhere, either drop it or wait until the UK changes. In Australia , the states can have CPs but the federal govt doesn’t have to recognise them. The CP is/was irrelevant for federal taxes. eg income tax. The CP was, however,used by the states for its own taxes and rights (inheritance). I don’t understand the division between Scot and the rest of the UK but that’s what happens when states have different rules to the federal govt. Rules have to diverge

          1. Tim Hopkins 7 Jun 2011, 11:29am

            If the Scottish Parliament introduced equal marriage first, and Scottish same-sex marriage was, as you said, recognised in the rest of the UK as a CP, then that would be a workable solution for the interim, until the rest of GB caught up.

            It would actually be a much better situation than in the US where same-sex marriage in Mass, Conn, Iowa etc is not recognised at all at US federal level. No-one in those US states said “let’s not work for equal marriage because there’s no point until it’s done at federal level – let’s just drop it till then”.

            In all parts of the UK, the best thing is for us all to work to move forward on this as soon as we can.

    3. David

      Your continued use of the word apartheid in this case is becoming both boring, sounds demented and is offensive

  3. And can anyone confirm whether or not Stonewall are going to be part of this consultation.

    Becauise of Ben Summerskill’s revolting homophobia in campaigning against marriage equality in England and Wales; then I certainly don’t think they should be consulted on matters of importance to the LGBT community (or is Stonewall Scotland actually in step with tehe wishes of the LGBT community – unlike in England where no-one knows where Stonewall’s allegiance lies – is it to the government or their corporate sponsors; because it’s as clear as day that Stonewall under the leadership of the stunningly incompetent Ben Summerskill has zero allegiance to the LGBT community.

    1. So are you saying that we shouldnt consult people who disagree with us?

  4. Excellent news!

    Hopefully everything with the consulataion will go will and Scotland will embrace Marriage Equality. Hopefully then followed by the rest of the UK.

    1. The ‘consultation’ is not end-dated though.

      Why not?

      Be careful – this may simply be a ruse by the SNP to fob us off, like the Tories seem to be doing.

  5. I am highly doubtful about the wider benefits of devolution, but this is clearly one of them: some parts of our country can take a lead where others are more dubious or backward. I sincerely hope the Scots take a progressive lead on this issue, although I remain a little sceptical bearing in mind their having given in to the Catholics on adoption agencies.

    Incidentally, I think the simplest thing to to is simply to re-name CPs marriage. That’s what most people call them and apart from a rather small minority of feminists I think it is what most of us want.

    1. Tim Hopkins 6 Jun 2011, 3:41pm

      The Equality Network’s consultation on marriage within the LGBT communities in Scotland asked detailed questions about this. We asked people in a CP whether, if same-sex marriage was available and it was easy to convert, they would want to convert their CP to a marriage. 54% said yes; 42% said no.

      We asked people not in a CP, if both marriage and CP were available in future, which do you think you might want to do in future. 29% said a CP; 74% said marriage (a few said either/both).

      So there is a significant number of LGBT people who like the idea of CP, even if marriage is available – it’s not just a “small minority”.

      1. Thanks Tim.

        I remain a bit mystified but accept your figures of course (apart from the fact that they appear to add up to 103% :-) ).

        Granted that the only difference between a CP and a marriage is the name, my concern is that allowing the choice will associate marriage with religion (the opposite of “civil” is of course “religious”), which granted that the majority of marriages are civil ones would be a retrograde step.

        1. Tim Hopkins 7 Jun 2011, 11:38am

          Adds up to 103 because some people said they might consider either a marriage or a CP in future!

          In our surveys, we ask people demographic questions such as their religion or belief, and from that we know that the majority of LGBT supporters of equal marriage are not religious – they support it on equality grounds not because they want a religious mariage ceremony. Hopefully that means there will be plenty of people speaking out for equal marriage from a non-religious perspective.

  6. John, with respect, the UK doesn’t yet recognise foreign gay marriages but civil unions (partnerships, PACS etc) only for gay couples. I doubt if it recognises straight French PACs though or other legal unions straight couples enter into other than marriages.

    As much as I sympathize with your views, David, there’s no way we could get this passed without a consultation. Why give the right wing clerics any more ammunition by not having one? The consultation will allay any fears that religious denominations will be compelled to recognise same-sex marriages because there is no religious component in them whatsoever. A consultation is the right thing to do, as laborious as it may seem. That’s how things are done in our system of government. Its not perfect, but at least its fair in most cases.

    1. Actually foreign straight civil partnerships are considered ‘marriage’ in the UK, and a foreign marriage between two people of the same sex is automatically seen as a ‘civil partnership’.

      Perhaps also do away with the term ‘gay marriage’ – it’s not helping. We want civil marriage to be open(ed) to couples of the same sex. ‘Gay marriage’, though we know on this site what we mean by it, is frequently used by ‘the other side’ to imply we want ‘special rights’. How we present it matters.

      Personally I don’t see why consultation should take more than a few months, everything has all been said a thousand times, and in this the UK would only be catching up with the rest of the civilised world.

      1. The UK doesn’t recognise straight civil partnerships from abroad…where did you get that idea from? I’m intrigued as to why you say this.. Sorry Robert , UK doesn’t recognise foreign SS marriages as marriages , they equate them to CPs, which is exactly what they would equate a SS marriage from Scotland if they ever brought it in prior to the UK which as we know doesn’t have any deadline at the moment….remember those words used by Lynne Featherstone to the Christians, progress on marriage equality will be done in “baby steps” but when do babies start to walk (by the age of 2/3??) , she doesn’t elaborate!!

  7. Harry57, that’s not going to happen and I wouldn’t say most of us want that when the trend now is veering towards full marriage equality for gays and civil partnerships being available to straight couples. There should be choice for both orientations. CPs will NEVER be the norm for gay couples anywhere in the world. Marriage has and always will be the universal gold standard. Those among the gay population who don’t want to marry should NOT oppose those of us who do. In fact, they should support another choice. None of us is asking to abolish CPs for those who want them. You don’t have to like or agree with marriage, but then you shouldn’t be opposed.

    1. Robert, I agree 100%. marriage is the gold standard. I genuinely don;t understand why anyone would want a CP (which implies gay and not so important) when marriage was available. But there is a minority that does. maybe a member of that minority could enlighten us?

      1. Just because you don’t understand it, doesnt mean that it isnt a legitimate desire of some couples …

        I think many prefer to have a recognised partnership with the legal and tax benefits but without the stigmatisation of the historical word marriage

  8. Ooer missus 6 Jun 2011, 5:26pm

    Consultation….isn’t that what Sir Humphrey always recommended when he wanted the minister to avoid making a commitment on an issue?

  9. the snp had to get into bed with the roman catholic church to get those extra votes, dream on if you think they will bastions of gay rights, scotland is the smallest minded little country in thr world and the snp only have one agenda at heart, nationalism at any cost.

    1. Scotland most certainly ISN’T the smallest minded little country in the world!!! Already our hate crimes legislation is the most universal of any (incorporating as it does hate crimes against Trans-folk) in Europe! If it was nationalism at any cost, the plans would already be out for the referendum! I have every confidence that we can again be ahead of the rest of the UK in our Equality legislation – Scottish marriage law is already different from that in England and Wales – there is no reason we shouldn’t easily be able to adapt it to suit all interested parties.

  10. Splaz….civil partnerships are NOT legally recognised or referred to as marriages because the law hasn’t been changed to make that recognition a reality. Just because people consider them “marriages”, makes no difference. The simple fact of the matter is, they’re not.

    Harry57, I’m all for keeping CPs in place for those who prefer them, absolutely. What I want is support from those who don’t want to marry to support our right to marry and straights to be allowed to form a civil partnership and clearly there are some who won’t even do just that. They just don’t see the larger picture and the implications. It benefits everyone to have equal rights and equal access to both marriage and civil partnerships. That’s FULL equality.

    1. Tim Hopkins 7 Jun 2011, 8:05am

      Another result from the Equality Network’s big survey of LGBT people in Scotland, on marriage, is that the large majority of those who would prefer CP to remain available, support having same-sex marriage available also. 85% of LGBT people said that we need marriage opened up to same-sex couples (this was 18 months ago – the % is probably higher now), and 63% of them want CP retained alongside and opened up to mixed-sex couples. As you say, that’s full equality – the same choices for all.

  11. Harry57, you won’t get much of an elightened response from those who oppose marriage. They’ll use the same lame excuses that its too patriarchal and they don’t want to be like straights. Yet CPs mimic most components of marriage and they think its radical. It isn’t. Its merely a substitute version of marriage under a different name, but definitely not marriage under the law and was geared more to keeping the religious bigots appeased. Blair practically admitted it when the consultation was taking place. It was either accept CPs or nothing. That was then, this is now. Its more than obvious that the trend is towards full marriage equality, a trend that will continue to grow around the world. Inevitable!

  12. Either civil law is defined by the needs and rights of citizens and gay marriage will be legalized, or civil laws will be placed under the dominion of religious laws and gay marriage will remain banned.
    Opponents of gay marriage try to offer legal and social reasons for their position,it is easy to provide a list of the usual objections and when examined closely none of them hold water… it almost always comes back to religion and religion-based animosity towards gays.
    There are no valid secular grounds for denying gay marriage.

  13. katie Murphy - ex catholic family 6 Jun 2011, 9:26pm

    Cheers. 10 to 1 odds that GB will change from CUs to marriage in the next 5 years.

    Another stake in the heart of the molester catholic church, and the evangelicals, who in the USA are the same people who gave us slavery, the KKK hate group and segregation.

    Need I say more – now 7 countries with marriiage in w Europe. Finland is next. england soon after. Prob Denmark also.

    RATZI will have a fit. Tough constipation for the church leader who seems to hate gay people and in 2009 UNexcommunicated a bishop williamson who is a holocaust denier

  14. This makes me think of scissors. If I buy a pair of scissors, chances are they are right-handed scissors. The user manual will say “hold in right hand”. But just because the tool designed for me is right handed and the book that goes with it talks about right handedness, that doesn’t mean there can’t be scissors for left handed people. I wouldn’t expect to be “consulted” about left handed people’s rights to have scissors just because I believe very strongly in what my user manual says is right for me personally. What does it have to do with me?

    1. Tim Hopkins 7 Jun 2011, 11:45am

      That’s a very valid point. Scissors are pretty simple things, but a scissor manufacturer should probably consult with a variety of people before making left-handed scissors. Left-handed people’s views about left-handed scissors should clearly carry more weight than right-handed people’s. But a right-handed expert on scissor manufacturing problems might have something useful to say about how to manufacture left-handed scissors.

      For marriage law, LGBT people’s views about same-sex marriage should clearly carry particular weight when the consultation is analysed, for similar reasons.

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