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Marriage equality ‘could make Scotland a progressive beacon’ following Queen’s Speech, campaign says

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  1. Please Scotland go for it and prove you are the forward thinking, strong and fair nation that you are.

    It will be impossible (whichever British nation gets there first) for other British nations to refuse to engage in same sex couples marrying when one nation state makes the choice.

    Its the race to prove who is the most tolerant, fair and has the most integrity.

    Scotland, clearly have a head start – if they wish to take the initiative.

    Please do.

  2. I hope Scotland are the first to set the example of fairness and equality for others to follow.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2012, 5:50pm

    Yes, let Scotland proceed to full equality, putting the Tories south of the border in a real bind. What an embarrassment if that were to happen. Imagine the frenzy among the right wing lunatics in the Tory party. They really are tarnishing their party as the party of the looney right. Extremists who have much in common with the BNP.

  4. I really hope the Scottish Government will go ahead with marriage equality.

    But the fact their response to the consultation (and their decision too, I presume) is now being put back to June gives me slight cause for concern.

    I read in an article in the Herald today that the consultation responses were 28,000 against to 22,000 for marriage equality. If true, I hope it won’t sway the SNP government.

    I’m also worried that the SNP didn’t do quite as well in Glasgow at the local elections last week especially since there was a concerted effort by the anti-marriage equality bigots in Glasgow. Nicola Sturgeon’s own constituency area of Govan did especially bad with the SNP only returning 1 councillor instead of the 3 they’d predicted.

    Hopefully this is just me being pessimistic but I can’t help worrying about it until I hear for certain that the Scot Gov are going ahead with marriage equality, especially given the SNP’s past record on gay equality.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2012, 7:07pm

      I wouldn’t put my faith in polls. They can be manipulated either way.

      1. The only poll I’ve referred to is the Scottish Government’s own consultation. I’m sure they WILL take notice of that, and that’s what I’m worried about if indeed there are more responses against than for. As I say, I won’t be able to rest east until I hear it from the Scot Gov itself that they will definately being going ahead with it.

        1. That should have said rest easy!

        2. Equality Network 10 May 2012, 7:55am

          It was a consultation, not an opinion poll, of course. The Govt is well aware how a campaign can affect the numbers responding. They should be more interested in the quality of the points raised and reasons given. The 28,000 to 22,000 figure may be correct or may not – for example, how many of the 28,000 were sent in from outwith Scotland?

          1. But what is a consultation if not an opinion poll, especially the Scot Gov’s consultation which was asking if and not how, like the UK Gov’s consultation. If there are much more responses against than in favour, you can bet the Scot Gov will drop the whole thing.

          2. Tim Hopkins 10 May 2012, 6:41pm

            It’s about the why more than the whether or how. That’s why the consultation form had a writein box for every question (unlike the England / Wales one).

          3. So it’s still asking the public why we should have it and giving the people the option to say we shouldn’t have it at all. If the SNP were fully committed to gay equality then the consultation could have taken a different form that made it clear they were going to proceed with it. As it stands, a full year after the SNP were elected and 5 months after the consultation closed, we still don’t know if the SNP will proceed with it or not. We now have to wait another month to find out – and they could still drop it in the end, it’s not impossible.

    2. bobbleobble 9 May 2012, 8:49pm

      It’s ceratinly true that the SNP didn’t do well in Glasgow but who did? The Labour party, another party whose leadership have thrown their weight behind gay marriage. The SNP were kidding themselves if they really expected to do well in Glasgow.

      1. The SNP did not do as well in Glasgow as they had expected. Maybe it was simply a case of the SNP being overconfident and they were never going to do as well as they predicted, just like you say. But I can’t help worrying that maybe the anti-marriage equality campaign did have something to do with it. As I say, apparently the SNP did particularly badly in Govan which roughly equates to Nicola Sturgeon’s own parliamentary constituency and she did received those petitions from her constituents against marriage equality so it just adds fuel to my worries and fears that the SNP will decide in the end not to go ahead with it.

      2. And I know the Labour party, and indeed all parties in the Scottish Parliament, support marriage equality so people who are against it wouldn’t have voted for any of them logically, but it’s the SNP who are currently in government and who will be making the decision whether to proceed with it, not Labour or any other party.

        So the people who are against it will think that by not voting SNP, it’s sending them a message that they will lose votes if they go ahead with it and they hope it will be enough for the SNP to drop it.

        Perhaps I’m being far too cynical about it all, but I can’t put my faith in politicians of any party to do the right thing when their own positions could be at stake.

        This article mentions that there have been suggestions it should be postponed until after the independence referendum. It’s the first I’ve heard of that, but to be honest it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Politicians cannot be trusted.

    3. I wonder how many of the negative responses came from outside of Scotland, which means they won’t count. I know from personal correspondence that most of my regional MSPs are in favour of same-sex marriage, so I’m hoping and praying that the Scottish Government presses ahead with this matter. It would be great for Holyrood to show the way. To be fair to David Cameron, the consultation in England and Wales is still running, so it would hardly have been appropriate for the Queen’s speech to contain proposed legislation on the matter.

      1. When I wrote to my constituency and regional MSPs, only one gave me a definate answer, half of them wouldn’t commit either way and the rest didn’t reply. Most of them have now signed the Equal Marriage pledge, though, so that’s something. The Scot Gov have to proceed with a Bill in the first place in order for MSPs to vote on it.

      2. Didn’t the Scot Gov say they were interested in hearing views from outside of Scotland? I seem to remember the anti-gay bigots weren’t happy about about pro-gay responses coming from England and made a bit of a fuss about it.

        1. Equality Network 10 May 2012, 7:58am

          The Govt said that people outwith Scotland could respond to the consultation, but that those responses would be counted separately. We guess that there were more anti-equality responses from England than pro-equality ones. The Christian Institute did a big campaign in the last week of the consultation to get their supporters, most of whom are are in England, to respond.

          1. So why would the Scot Gov bother with responses from outside Scotland if they’re counting them separately? Either they’ll take them into account or they won’t. Or will they only get half as much importance as Scottish responses? It all seems a bit stupid to me, this whole consultation. The SNP say they’re in favour of marriage equality so they should simply have gone ahead and done it like the Lib Dems & Greens said they would do, so it could have been done without a consultation like this.

          2. Tim Hopkins 10 May 2012, 6:45pm

            Consultation on proposed legislation is a key part of the way the Scottish legislative process works. Much better that than Govt just making it up. Of course it’s crucial the results are not treated as a referendum, but are analysed for qualitative content and ideas.

          3. The first point is that consultation is not a requirement for proposed legislation in the Scottish Parliament.

            Secondly, it can take many forms, from the government simply asking experts in the relevant field to focus groups to a full public consultation like this.

            The question is why did the SNP feel the need for a full public consultation when they could have carried out a different form of consultation? They don’t put every piece of proposed legislation to public consultation like this, so why do it for marriage equality?

            This consultation wasn’t just about crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, it was asking the public if they think there should be marriage equality – basically a poll.

            It was Peter Tatchell who said “You don’t consult on equality, you do it.”

            We’d never see a consultation on whether black or asian people should be allowed a basic human right. I’m sick of excuses being made for the SNP over this.

          4. It was in their election manifesto to hold a consultation. So in fairness to the Scottish Government, they are doing what they promised.
            So you can hardly say anyone is making excuses for them.

          5. @ATS

            I never claimed the SNP were doing anything other than what they pledged in their 2011 election manifesto – i.e. to hold a consultation on same sex marriage, not definitely introduce it, merely hold a consultation on it. They have done exactly that and we still don’t know (on 6th June 2012) if they’re going ahead with it.

            I was asking why there is a need for a consultation in the first place. Surely a matter of equality is fairly simple – you’re against it or in favour of it. This consultation was not just about working out the technicalities of legislating for marriage equality, it was asking if we should have it.

            Would the SNP (or any party) ask if black or asian people should have full equality? No, so why the need to ask if gay people should receive full equality?

          6. ATS, are you the same person who used to use the name WTF and only ever left comments defending the SNP no matter what?

            I’m sure they’re glad to have someone as loyal as you who’ll overlook even homophobia in your blind support.

            Despite my views on the SNP, I’m glad they’re progressing with equal marriage, and I really do hope they decide to go ahead with it (they’ve still not made their decision as of 9 June 2012).

            I’ll be over the moon if they do go ahead with it, just like everyone else will be (except for Cardinal O’Brien) because it will mean gay people can soon get married in Scotland – and that is more important than how I feel about the SNP.

            However, if they do, it won’t negate all the homophobia they’ve been involved in such as accepting money from the biggest homophobe in Scotland and Roseanna Cunningham still being in government (never mind the party) when she thinks gay people go against 1000 years of nature’s design. All of these things will still need to be addressed.

  5. I just noticed that the article here says that there has been some suggestion that marriage equality should be postponed until after the independence referendum. I really hope that this isn’t going to happen. The SNP need to take a strong lead on this and not worry about losing votes (from bigots) if they pursue a particular policy. It’s the right thing to do and that should be all the Scot Gov need to take into account.

    Come on Wee Eck, do it for Scotland! (I hope I won’t get into trouble with Tricia Marwick now!)

  6. Remember the SNP government in hock to Bri-Ann Souter.

    1. Sir Tom Farmer (the Kwik-Fit tyres guy) is another SNP supporter & financial donor who has spoken out against marriage equality.

    2. Spanner1960 10 May 2012, 10:55am

      We are beginning to turn into a US style of politics, with rich lobbyists define the countries politics. if this sort of trend continues, party donations should be capped even further.

  7. That There Other David 9 May 2012, 9:46pm

    Go for it Scotland. Shame Westminster into a second-place position :)

  8. Scotland hurry up, the US might beat you!

  9. Out of curiosity, where did Pink News get the information about the Scot Gov pushing back it’s response to the consultation until June? It’s the first I’ve heard of it, and the same goes for the suggestion that it could be post-poned until after the independence referendum.

    1. Tim Hopkins 10 May 2012, 8:03am

      The Scottish Govt have said themselves that the analysis of the consultation result is unlikely to be published before June, due to the large number of responses.

      The idea of legislation on equal marriage being delayed till after the indepedence referendum is speculation by the press – the Sunday Times claimed last Sunday that “a [unnamed] source close to an SNP Minister” had said legislation should be delayed till after.

      1. When and where did the Scot Gov say June? I’ve seen or heard nothing in the news (tv, newspapers & online) or on the Scot Gov website where the Scot Gov has said anything other than spring. This Pink News article is the first time I’ve heard of this and it doesn’t say who told them.

        1. And, perhaps more importantly, why has it suddenly been pushed back until June? I know it’s only another few weeks but it’s still being delayed. Only last week, the Scot Gov were still saying spring.

        2. Tim Hopkins 10 May 2012, 6:48pm

          Alex Salmond said in the Parliament today that the results will be published in June. As for why it’s later, I can only repeat that the Govt says it’s because of the large number of responses.

          1. Yes, I saw FMQs today and I wasn’t reassured, if I’m being honest. Salmond refused to actually say he was in favour of marriage equality and repeatedly said that he made his view clear during the 2011 election campaign. Anyone who didn’t know what he said then would have been none the wiser watching FMQs today.

            Salmond’s reaction to Willie Rennie today is consistent with the SNP’s muted attitude to marriage equality. Why can’t they be as enthusiastic in support for it as they are for their minimum alcohol pricing or Scottish independence, for example?

            Salmond also made it clear that the consultation responses will play a large part in their decision – it’s the SNP themselves who are placing so much importance on it.

            He also used phrases like “bring this issue to a resolution” and “the matter will be brought to a proper conclusion” – maybe I’m far too cynical, but this worries me that the conclusion he speaks of could be to drop the issue entirely next month.

          2. And as for why the SNP aren’t announcing their response to the consultation until June, the consultation closed on 10 December, so they’ve known how many responses they’ve had since then.

            Up until last week they were still saying they would announce their analysis in the spring knowing how many responses they had. So they can’t now delay it by a month and say it’s because there were so many reponses – they didn’t just discover how many reponses there were this week, they’ve known for 5 months.

            It’s more likely they’re delaying it until the Scottish Parliament goes into Summer recess.

            I know I’m very critical of the SNP when it comes to gay equality, but given their past record, I’ve got reason to be so cautious about their attitude to gay issues.

  10. I would SO love for my beloved Motherland, Scotland the Brave, to take the lead on this civil rights issue of the 21st Century!

  11. Go for it Scotland, sooner rather than later. You are doing the right thing and you have our support. Be strong, be confident and be brave like you have been in the past. Show what Braveheart really means.

  12. Spanner1960 10 May 2012, 10:52am

    Much that it pains me to say it, it would be good to see Scotland get one over on England and Wales in this respect.

    1. That There Other David 10 May 2012, 11:55am

      I don’t think it’s getting one over, more like showing the way. When Scotland does this and the sky doesn’t fall, just as it hasn’t elsewhere, it massively lessens the arguments of the anti-equality crowd south of the border. At the moment it’s too easy for those on the Right, who are normally very anti-European anyway, to dismiss our friends on the Continent who have implemented marriage for all as “foreigners who do things differently to how we do them here”. If a Home Nation does it how are they going use that line?

      1. Spanner1960 12 May 2012, 5:03pm

        Oh bullsh|t.
        Half of Europe has it and it still hasn’t made anybody here see sense. All I can see is that maybe Gretna Green is about ready for a revival.

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