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Scottish government to reveal marriage decision in two weeks

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  1. Come on Scotland, you can do it!

    1. Cardinal Capone 28 Jun 2012, 12:11am

      Fingers crossed its good news!

  2. What date is the decision to be announced?

    On that date there needs to be a big gathering planned outside the parliament.

    If they decide to legalise equality then his can be a big street celebration.

    If on the other hand Scotland decides to maintain its apartheid regime then a large mass movement protest is required.,

    If apartheid is maintained then there needs to be immediate protest and large scale civil disobedience.

    Maintaining the CP apartheid regime is absolutely uinacceptable and the government needs to understand this immediately.

    1. And LGBT groups and people from England and Wales need to get to Edingurgh on that date to send the message to Westminster that failure to legislate for equality is going to have hugely negative repercussions if England fails to legalise equality.

      Hopefully Scotland will be sensible and legalise equality and thereby avoid a massive and bitter protest and demonstration.

    2. Ah the 10th of July.

      So where will the gathering be taking place to allow the LGBT community to give an immediate response to the outcome?

      1. Glasgow Pride is the 14th July so also a good opportuinity for either a protest or indeed if they decide to proceed for a good ol knees up(like we Scots need an excuse) :)

  3. It seems promising that they’re going to make the announcement four days before Pride. It would be REALLY politically stupid of them to schedule their announcement just days before Pride.

    1. …if it were bad news.

      1. I hope you’re right, Hayden, but to be honest I’ve given up trying to guess what the decision will be based on signs such as this! I’ve changed my mind a dozen times in the past few months after reading something in the news which has convinced me one way or the other! Only another 2 weeks to go and we’ll know for sure what’s happening!

  4. This is good to get a specific date for the announcement at last, even if if has been delayed more than once already! Now all we need to do is hope it will be the right decision and the Scottish Government will legislate for marriage equality. These next 2 weeks are going to be murder waiting to hear!

  5. Well at least a fixed date has been set, rather than season or month. Guess this gives them time to get the guts together to make an announcement on there decision. (as i bet a decision has been already made but it is rather a metter of officialism)

  6. Gemma Gillon 27 Jun 2012, 6:11pm

    If the SNP are stupid they WILL say YES.

    The reason I say stupid is because while I am a gay I am also politically aware and know that if the government promise to legalize it the electorate will end them for it.
    Scotland has never really got rid of its homophobia it has just went underground.

    1. I think that there are a small number of bigoted people who feel so strongly about this that they might stop voting for the SNP if they legislate for marriage equality. But I honestly don’t think there are enough of these people to make much difference. The SNP won’t lose lots of seats over it at the next election, for example, assuming they go ahead with it. It’s just that the opponents of marriage equality have been given prominence they don’t really warrant in the media over the last year, so they appear to be more numerous than they really are.

      1. I know its really sad how these opponents think they can hold back equality. :(

        1. Yes, I bet Cardinal O’Brien will be doing everything he can in the next 2 weeks to stop it from happening! I’d love to see his face when he hears the decision! (assuming it’s a Yes to marriage equality).

    2. Even if that were the case, who would they vote for? All the main political parties and their MSPs are in favour.

      I still stand by my view that the majority of Scotland(and the UK) are neutral to this because it has no effect on them whatsoever, hence why the consultation only really got responses from either side of the debate. When marriage equality is brought in, most people won’t care, those who oppose it will make some noises for a while and then once life moves on and the country moves on it will just become what it should have been, a non event.

  7. I am sure the SNP are intelligent enough to realise that the vast majority of current and future voters in Scotland support equality in marriage, and to recognise the importance of doing the right thing.

    I am sure they want to be on the right side of history.

  8. Very suspicious I say.

    1. What do you mean by suspicious, Mike?

  9. Meanwhile New Zealand have 2 MPs seeking to bring forward a private members bill:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10813304

    They also have significant support of the electorate according to polls:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7057118/Kiwis-back-gay-marriage-poll

    Why can’t Scotland, England & Wales, N Ireland or Ireland have an MP/MSP/MLA/TD who has the balls to bring forward a private members bill – rather than the parlarva these govts have had with their consultation

    1. Equality Network 27 Jun 2012, 8:30pm

      In Scotland, the law is that a Member’s Bill proposal is subject to a compulsory public consultation of at least 12 weeks (plus time after that to analyse the results), before the proposal can be put to the Scottish Parliament. Only after that can the bill be introduced in the Parliament and debate on it start. Before the 12 week consultation could begin, the bill would have to be drafted, and that takes some time.

      Therefore, at present, if the Scottish Govt are going to consult on a draft bill on same-sex marriage towards the end of this year, the Member’s Bill process would be no faster. However, the Equality Network will seek an MSP willing to take forward a Member’s Bill on this, if the Scottish Govt do not proceed on that timescale.

    2. A private member’s Bill is a promising strategy in Scotland, but nowhere else. (But it might be good tactics, to keep the issue on the agenda.)

      There is a widely held view in Ireland that constitutional change is required first. I don’t agree, but no Bill is going to get through the Oireachtas until there’s been a constitutional convention or a change of mind among lawyers.

      Northern Ireland won’t allow gay people to adopt or gay men to give blood. The chances of Stormont permitting gay marriage in the next 20 years are zero. Marriage will come to NI only if Stormont is suspended (not something to hope for) or the courts intervene (unlikely, but not inconceivable).

      Marriage isn’t devolved to Wales.

      A private member’s Bill at Westminster will likely succeed only with govt time (as happened with decriminalisation). The coalition may take this route; and if they drop marriage, a pr mem Bill will put pressure on them. But it will need govt support (at least tacitly) to pass.

  10. Can I just say that they look at the Pink News Comments section to gage reaction to whatever they do. Comments get quoted a lot by anyone connected to Catholic Voices as a means to attack us.

    1. OK – well here’s a message to the Scottish government – if you decide to maintain CP apartheid in Scotland and you announce this intention 4 days before Pride, then there will be hell to pay.

      Civil partnership apartheid is disgusting and civil marriage equality has nothing to do with religious cults.

      There will be a gathering outside parliament prior to your announcement which depending on the the outcome of the announcement will be a joyful party or ….????

      1. Parliament will be closed for summer on 10th July – and it slightly worries me that the Scottish Government has chosen to wait until the Parliamentary recess to announce their decision. Hopefully I’m worrying about nothing, though.

        1. A robust response would be required.

          I would urge caution though, inciting riot is a criminal offence – and encouraging to do so has led to charges and convictions (as seen with comments on twitter and facebook in the August riots last year – there is no reason PN comments could not be construed in a similar manner).

          I would urge caution, and legitimate, strong, bold and robust but lawful protest.

          I would also urge care to be taken as comments such as those by dAVID could lead to themselves being convicted of similar actions to those who encouraged riot last year.

          1. But Apartheid is wrong.

            If the SNP wants to maintain the CP apartheid regime then it’s clear that peaceful campaigning has failed.

            Marriage equality is NOT a matter for debate or consultation.

            It is a civil right that is denied to us and this needs to be immediately rectified.

            The riots last year were by thieving yobs.

            If the SNP decides to maintain aparheid then they are telling a law-abiding minority that it is deserving of 2nd class citizenship.

            They are not comparable.

            I am not calling for riots if the SNP decides to keep the CP apartheid regime. I am calling for a campaign of largescale mass protest and civil disobedience – both of which are perfectly legal and entirely necessary if the CP apartheid regime is maintained.

        2. Inciting a riot is indeed an offence and of couirse I would NEVER do such a thing.

          Apartheid is even more offensive though and if Scotland decides to maintain CP apartheid then they are effectively telling us that we are 2nd class citizens undeserving of equal civil rights.

          If they think of doing that then they are inviting a VERY robust response.

      2. Tim Hopkins 28 Jun 2012, 2:11pm

        I think Mike meant that people involved with ‘Scotland for Marriage’ (aka Scotland against marriage equality) read these comments, not that the Scottish Govt do!

        All we know for sure is that the Scottish Cabinet will be discussing the issue on July 10th. They discussed it two days ago and will come back to it then. We don’t know when an announcement will be made, although Nicola Sturgeon told the Parliament yesterday that the consultation results will be published in July. Obviously it will be a matter for serious concern if there are further delays after 10th July though.

        For yesterday’s mention in the Parliament, see:

        http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=7106&mode=html#iob_64754

        under Point of Order

        1. Thanks for the link, Tim. It makes for interesting reading, to say the least!

          I hope that the Scottish Government will make their decision in 2 weeks, but as you point out, Nicola Sturgeon did not actually say this – she only said the consultation results would be published next month.

          Even if they have a genuine reason (77,000 responses) for repeatedly pushing back the deadline, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m disappointed that they’ve not been up front all along and said so, they only do so when questioned by another MSP – Patrick Harvie yesterday and Willie Rennie last month. If they’d announced these delays themselves, then I’d have more confidence in the Scot Gov.

          I also just wish that they’d said from the start that they intended to legislate (as they do support it, after all), then all these delays wouldn’t bother me so much. But as they’ve still to make their decision then it really worries me.

  11. Jock S. Trap 27 Jun 2012, 8:36pm

    Well here’s hopin!!! Come on Scotland pave the way!! :)

  12. I’d just like to remind the PinkNews editors (and the Scottish government) that this issue isn’t about ‘gay marriage’ vs. ‘straight marriage’, it’s about same-sex marriage. I know, many people still cling on to the myth that we bisexuals are incapable of commitment (whereas gay and straight men and women are famous for being faithful in monogamous relationships :)) but the constant referral to ‘gay marriage’ makes bisexuals invisible, again. You don’t have to be gay to want to marry someone of your own sex.

    1. Well said.

  13. Hoping for a positive announcement on July 10th.

    1. And preparing for immediate, large scale protest and civil disobedience in case Scotland decides to maintain CP apartheid.

      There is only 1 acceptable outcome to this consultation after al.

      1. Of course there is only one reasonable response for the Scottish govt to make.

        They should (and I have no doubt will) introduce a bill to ensure equal marriage.

        You are veering into illegality in your encouragement of riot and civil disobedience and that risks your liberty and does nothing to benefit the LGBT cause.

        1. Protest is perfectly legal and legitimate.

          If the SNP decides to maintain CP apartheid then they are inviting and encouraging a very robust and ongoing protest.

  14. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Jun 2012, 10:05pm

    This entire consultation process north and south of the border is a waste of time and unnecessary. Too much dithering and foot-dragging. This is taking far too long. If most Scottish MPs and the majority of the Scottich public support it, I don’t see why it needs to be delayed any longer. Get it done, get it over with.

    1. I understand your frustration Robert but we do live in a democracy and this is a major social change (a very positive one of course) and public consultation is therefore an important part of the political process. It is also a safety valve – even those who disagree with the proposal can see they’ve had a chance to air their views, the matter has been properly considered taking into account both sides of the argument and then a decision is reached.

      1. That’s quite simply untrue.

        I cannot remember a sngle occasion in living memory where a law abiding minority’s civil rights have been subject to a public consultation.

        The consultation was totally unnecessary and grossly offensive.

        And equal marriage legislation in the year 2012 is the ONLY acceptable outcome of this time-wasting consultation.

        1. And this consultation process has already made my local MSP go from being in favour of marriage equality and telling me she intended to vote for it, to now saying she’s undecided and “needs more time for reflection due to various issues raised.”

  15. Brian Souter donated £500,000 to the SNP before the last election. Could be payback time?

    1. That There Other David 27 Jun 2012, 10:49pm

      Even Brian Souter’s millions can’t fight a wide majority of Scots being in favour. The SNP only has one option if it is to maintain its momentum running up to the Independence referendum, and that is to act like the Scandinavian countries and distance itself from the dithering at Wesminster.

      Salmond, I’m absolutely certain, will want to be decisive, and just as importantly to show how he can be decisive.

      It will be a yes, and Scotland will have marriage equality voted on and ready for the 1st Jan.

      1. If the SNP decide to maintain apartheid then quite clearly Scottish independence is a very bad idea for the LGBT community.

        1. That There Other David 28 Jun 2012, 12:03pm

          Relax. They aren’t going to stay with the status quo.

          1. Let’s hope not, but the SNP government have still to make their decision. They maintained all along that they would make no decision until they’d heard all views and analysed the responses to the consultation – which I find really frustrating given they say they are in favour.

            So it’s still possible they could decide to drop the matter and not draft a Bill. I personally think it’s unlikely they will drop it, but it’s not impossible.

            My own local SNP MSP has already changed her mind from being in favour and intending to vote for it to now being undecided due to issues that have been raised during the last 10 months – and I have an e-mail proving this. Let’s hope she’s the only one!

          2. So this consultation process has already made at least one MSP go from being in favour of same sex marriage and saying she would vote for it, to now being undecided “due to various issues raised”.

            I don’t expect anyone thought that it would have consequences such as that when they talk about a consultation being necessary!

    2. I thought Brian Souter paid the 500,000 to purchase his knighthood.

      If he thinks his money can suppress our rights then Stagecoach becomes a viable target for protest.

      1. He did get the SNP to drop their bus re-regulation policy for the £500,000 he gave them in 2007 – a policy they’d had for years. Let’s hope all last year’s £500,000 bought him was the Knighthood and nothing else.

    3. Tim Hopkins 28 Jun 2012, 2:14pm

      The openly gay Scottish Makar (national poet) Edwin Morgan gave the SNP £1,000,000 last year in his will. So if it’s payback time, 1 million beats 1/2 million!

      1. Souter is still very much alive and can pressure the SNP while Edwin Morgan has sadly died.

        Also Souter has given them at least £1 million too, and possibly more. Half a million in 2007 and then again in 2011, plus any other smaller donations he may have given them.

        The SNP have already dropped a long-standing policy (which the party membership voted to keep only a few months earlier) which would have directly affected Souter’s business interests – immediately after he gave them £500,000. The SNP maintained that it had nothing to do with his donation but they’ve never given another explanation why they dropped it.

        Just because a gay person supports the SNP (or indeed any party) doesn’t mean that party is not homophbic.

        I’m not saying the SNP as a party is homophobic, but there have been quite a few incidents in recent years where they’ve ignored homophobia within the party or sided with religion instead of gay equality. The membership have never questioned any of this.

        1. Also, I think although I’m not 100% sure, that Edwin Morgan stipulated that his money was to be used specifically for the independence campaign and not for any other party or political purposes or policies.

      2. To be honest, Tim, I’ve heard the argument of Edwin Morgan leaving the SNP money quite a few times now, always in response to Souter leaving them money. I don’t think you are comparing like for like.

        As I said, in my last comment, just because Morgan was gay doesn’t make the SNP a gay-friendly party.

        I also admit that just because Souter is a homophobe, it equally doesn’t make the SNP a homophobic party, but it does raise the legitimate question of why they’d accept money from a homophobe.

        Accepting money from a bigoted homophobe who actively tried to discriminate against gay people is very different from accepting money from a gay poet. At the very least, it sends out a message that the SNP are happy to tolerate Souter’s views and actions, whether that’s true or not.

        Then consider that they’ve already dropped policy to suit Souter, and could do so again.

        So I think that these two situations are very different and one doesn’t cancel out the other.

        1. I should have said Souter giving them money in my comment above, not leaving them money like Edwin Morgan did in his will. Sadly, Souter is alive and kicking – mostly kicking at gay people and rival bus companies!

  16. GingerlyColors 28 Jun 2012, 6:34am

    Gretna Green here we come!

  17. GingerlyColors 28 Jun 2012, 6:40am

    This is an interesting situation. Under current laws a member of the Royal Family cannot marry a Catholic in England or Wales. The Act of Settlement which prohibits such marriages was passed five years before Scotland joined the Union. However Royals can marry Catholics in Scotland and have their marriage recognised in England but they must forfeit any linage to the Throne. Surely then if a gay couple, both English were to marry in Scotland then their union must be recognised as a full marriage back home in England and not a Civil Partnership.
    The Act of Settlement 1702, by the way is up for review as it is discriminatory towards Catholics. It would be nice to remove all discrimination in marriage, including against gays.

    1. That There Other David 28 Jun 2012, 12:04pm

      Pretty much nail on the head. If Scotland implements marriage equality England and Wales will have no option but to follow. At least whilst Scotland remains in the UK.

      1. I think marriage equality will be sorted out long before the indepence referendum. You’re right, though about England and Wales having to do it if the Scottish government decide to do it in 2 weeks. If Scotland decide to drop it, though, it would give the Tory MPs opposed to it a good excuse to say the same should be done down South.

        Although, to he honest, the UK government have said all along that it is going to happen, which is more than can be said for the Scottish government. I realise that the UK government saying that doesn’t guarantee it will happen, Cameron could decide to drop it if he has a backbench rebelliion or something, but at least he started from the position of saying he fully intended to legislate. Salmond only said (reluctantly) that he supported it (with a caveat about religion not being forced into it) but would only decide once he’d heard all views – including those opposed to it.

        1. Keith Farrell 30 Jun 2012, 9:47am

          personally, I think the Scottish Government will approve marriage equality, if not for any reason other than to stick their tongue out at Westminster. We will always have to deal with some haters, but for the most I have found people in Scotland to be progressive at ensuring equal rights for all

          1. Yes, I do think that the SG are more likely to legislate for marriage equality than not do so.

            I’m just pointing out that there are no guarantees they will do so.

            Their attitude to marrige equality has been a bit muted throughout the whole process, rather than being fully and enthusiastically supportive, so I won’t be surpised if they decided not to legilsate.

  18. goosebumps!!! fingers crossed for you, Scotland!

  19. I don’t doubt the announcement will be supportive but the devil may be in the detail. Will those religious groups who want to carry out marriages be able to do so or will the Scottish Government maintain that religious venues are excluded. More interesting will be the issue of civil registrars who refuse to carry out same sex ceremonies – will the Scottish Government maintain that rightly all public servants must carry out their duties without fear or favour or will they insert a right to refuse to do so on conscience grounds. We will have to look at the details and not just the headline, which as I say I expect to be positive. One note worth remembering though is that most of the opposition MSPs are supportive but around 30 SNP MSPs have still refused to sign up to the Equal Marriage campaign.

    1. You make a good point about civil registrars – the SNP have so far indicated that they feel nobody should be “forced” to carry out same-sex marriages, although they’ve specifically referred to religious celebrants, I think. I wonder if individual religious celebrants will be able to opt out even if their church agrees to carry out same-sex marriages? I personally don’t think they should.

      You also make a good point about the SNP MSPs who have still to declare their intentions, almost half of them. A lot more than any other party, I think. I actually think that a lot of SNP MSPs won’t vote for it when it comes to it – it will still get passed in Parliament because a majority of MSPs already support it, and when I say I think a lot of SNP MSPs won’t vote for it, I don’t mean they’ll vote against it, I simply mean they’ll abstain or do a Gordon Brown and simply not turn up for the vote.

      My own local constituency SNP MSP has already backtracked, telling me last year……

      1. …..that she was in favour of same sex marriage and that she’d vote for it, but only a week or 2 ago she told me that she was undecided. When I queried her change in viewpoint, she said that she once believed in same sex marriage but has now changed her mind due to the various issues which have been raised during the last 10 months and now needs more time for refelction.

        What issues which have been raised which have made her change her mind like this, I have no idea, but I’m worried that pressure is being put on SNP MSPs and if one can change her mind, others might too, even some who’d already signed the pledge. While my MSP hadn’t signed the pledge, she still changed her mind from being in favour to now being undecided. It’s very worrying.

  20. Tim Hopkins 28 Jun 2012, 2:23pm

    All we know direct from the Scottish Govt, is that the Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the issue on July 10th. They discussed it two days ago and will come back to it then. The Scottish Govt haven’t confirmed when an announcement will be made, although Nicola Sturgeon told the Parliament yesterday that the consultation results will be published in July. And that the Scottish Parliament “will have ample opportunity in due course to debate the issue.”

    Obviously it will be a matter for serious concern if there are further significant delays in the announcement of the Govt’s position after 10th July though.

    For yesterday’s Govt response on this in the Scottish Parliament, see:

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=7106&mode=html#iob_64754

    under Point of Order

    1. I would be very disappointed if the Scottish Gvoernment did not make their decision on 10th July. Surely they must realise that the longer they put it off, the more it’s going to stir up the issue?

      But if they’d simply stated from the start that they intended to legislate then all this wouldn’t be such a big deal, even with all the delays. They could still have held a consultation (like in England & Wales) which would have allowed the same debate to have taken place, without all this uncertainty and the chance that they still might drop it.

      If they’d said at the start that they weren’t in favour or against it either way, and that they’d make their decision later, then fair enough. I just can’t understand why they said they did support it at the start but that no final decisions had been taken. It was a very big mistake and it’s coming back to haunt them.

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