So now there is no excuses what-so-ever for delaying this any more. Come Scotland lead the way to equality. Set the example for Westminster!!
Good for Scotland. Meanwhile, France just announced a timetable guaranteeing that french gay couples will be able to marry within a year. Back in London, we’re foot dragging and allowing vicious, right wing religious nutters in and out of Parliament to try to disrupt, delay and rail againt equal marriage and whose sole purpose is to unleash a Section 28 style backlash against LGBT people. This has to stop.
The Scottish Government hasn’t actually made any guarantees, and haven’t even made up their mind if they’re going to legislate for it yet, and could still decide not to. The Coalition government have at least said they fully intend to legislate, which is much further than the Scottish Government have gone so far.
Also, the Scottish Government went round having meetings with all the religious leaders (nutters) – 2 with the Cathoclic Church alone, who were invited to Bute House (the Scottish version of 10 Downing Street) for one of them, and also met with the Church of Scotland and Muslim leaders.
So this idea that the Scottish Government have been any better than the Coalition government isn’t really true. The only thing they did do better was start it before the Coalition government did.
Finally, the Tories have the Lib Dems pushing at them to do it, while the SNP are a majority government and a recent history of tolerating homophobia.
The Tories to be fair haven’t apart from there leader and depute in Edinburgh. I dont think the Tories in London really support marriage equality, sadly i think they are just trying to keep there coalition partners happy. But your right the SNP should tell take a tough stance of not tolerating homophobia.!! But If the London parliament wanted to really look progressive than why are they waiting until 2015?? (2 years longer than Edinburgh will if they agree to put forward a bill for marriage equality.) Or are the Tories in London just trying to trick LGBT and young voters to vote for them and not the Libdems or Labour, by looking Progressive. ( i worry the Conservatives are just acting like wolfs in sheep’s clothing.) Sorry if i went to far there.
I can’t see why you think you went too far! The Tories have traditionally been a very homophobic party, and many people think their recent conversion to gay rights is just a front that Cameron is putting on, while the party in the whole remains homophobic. Although, I’m not making any comment on that view one way or the other!
But my point was really about how the 2 consultations have been treated very differently by the media and the public, despite being very similar so far.
Both leaders have made very similar decisions (free votes for their party’s MPs/MSPs on it). Cameron has been said to have backtracked on it while no such claims have ever been levelled at Salmond – in fact, the Scottish consultation has been considered pretty much a done deal since it started while the English/Welsh process has been treated with suspicion at every step.
But right from the start, the UK government went further then the Scottish Government by saying……
……they intend to legislate and the consultation was about how to do it. The Scottish Government said right from the start that they hadn’t made up their mind whether to legislate and wouldn’t do so until they’d analysed the consultation responses – and the Scottish consultation was about if not how.
So the UK government actually made more of a committment to marrige equality than the Scottish Government have.
But I think you’re right about the timing involved, Charlie. Both governments could have done it quicker, although in this the Scottish Government are way ahead. They launched their consultation just a few months after they won the election while the Tories/Lib Dems took almost 2 years. I also don’t understand why it should take until 2015 for marriage equality in England and Wales, even allowing for all the proper procedures involved in legislating.
And you’re right about the Tories in Scotland, where half of them have already come out against marrriage equality. At least they only have 15 MSPs in total, so with 7 against, and 2 for, even if the other 6 are against it, then it will still get through Parliament. And of course, a majority of MSPs already support it.
It’s also worth noting that of the 67 SNP MSPs (Bill Walker was expelled from the party and Tricia Marwick gave up party membership to become Presiding Officer), I think 30 have still to declare, more than any other party in actual numbers and percentage of MSPs.
I’ve pointed out previously that my own constituency SNP MSP has already gone from being in favour of marriage equality to being undecided “due to various issues raised” and I’m a bit worried more could do so too, even some who’ve signed the pledge. Maybe Souter’s putting pressure on them or something, although I hope not.
I’ve done a quick add up to see how the parties break down on the Equal Marriage Pledge so far.I know it doesn’t really matter as a majority already support it, but I thought it would be interesting. I hope I’ve counted it up correctly!
SNP (67): Yes: 37, No: 1, Undecided: 29
Labour (37): Yes: 27, No: 0, Undecided: 10
Conservative (15): Yes: 2, No:7, Undecided: 6
Lib Dems (5): Yes: 5
Greens (2): Yes: 2
Independents (2): Yes: 1, No: 1
And here are those results by percentage (once again, if I’ve calculated correctly!)
SNP: Yes: 55%, No: 1.5%, Undecided: 43.5%
Labour: Yes: 73%, No: 0%, Undecided: 27%
Conservatives: Yes: 13%, No: 47%, Undecided: 40%
Lib Dem: Yes: 100%
Greens: Yes: 100%
Independents: Yes: 50%, No: 50%
You make some interesting points. :) If souter is putting pressure on them, i hope they just tell him to get lost as he is not First Minister or even an MSP. He should just stay to running his bus business and stay out of politics. Mr Salmond is my constituency MSP so i hope he does the right thing and allows gay marriage to pass. I know that the MSP that represents Aberdeen Donside where i used to live will probably vote against a marriage bill as he supported Roseanna Cunningham’s ammendment on adoption.
To be honest i just wish all these homophobic MSP’s would just retire and take there socially conservative views with them.
If I really think about it, it’s probably got more to do with my local MSP getting worried she might lose her seat, rather than anything to do with Souter, especially if she’s had any constituents writing to her who are strongly opposed to marriage equality.
She was one of the ones who was given a safe Labour seat here in Ayrshire to stand in, and nobody thought she’d actually win, so she’ll want to do all she can to win it again next time around. If she has had more constituents contact her against it than for it, then it could be as simple as that.
I tend to let my imagination run away with itself at times, though, and think the worst!
I’m 99% certain the SG will legislate for marriage equality, but there’s that wee doubt in my mind that they won’t, and until I hear for sure what’s happening, I won’t be able to rest easy!
Its ok, i tend to to the same :)im guessing that it is the MSP for Cunningham South you were mentioning ?
Yes, that’s the constituency I live in. So far my constituency (SNP) MSP and 2 of the West Scotland regional MSPs (1 Conservative & 1 SNP) haven’t declared. The other 5 West Scotland MSPs (3 Labour, 1 SNP & 1 Conservative) have all declared their support, I’m happy to say!
Interestingly, the 2 West Scotland MSPs who haven’t declared are Annabel Goldie & Stuart McMillan who are both on the Equal Opportunities Committee, so I’d have expected them to support it.
Aberdeenshire East is the constituency im in. In the North east regional list i know that Mark Mcdonald of the SNP and the Labour regional MSPs support marriage equality. As does the Lib dem MSP. Interesting Nanette Milne and Alex Johnston of the Tories oppose it.
I suupose it doesn’t really matter as a majority have already stated their support and I’d expect at least half of those undeclared to support it in the end, if not more.
When it comes to the vote, I’ll be very interested to see which MSPs vote for it, who votes against and perhaps most interesting, which MSPs cop out by abstaining or simply not turning up for the vote like Gordon Brown used to do for votes on gay equality legislation.
I get the feeling that the majority of the Tories in London do not support equal marriage since few of them have publicly declared support for it. More opponents in their party have made their intentions known than those in support, sadly. If it’s defeated, a real possibility, it will be down to them. They will lose the election either way and as far as LGBT people are concerned, it will be about failure to enact equal marriage more than the economic problems and austerity measures. To think that France is going to beat us to it within a year and there hasn’t been any consultation or much debate about it and we’re not hearing as much religious zealotry and opposition as we are in the UK. This entire consultation process and foot-dragging has enabled a vicious, mendacious agenda by the opposition and it’s getting worse by the day. A lot of people will end up believing it. There is precious little pushback except perhaps from Nick Herbert, but it’s far from enough and inadequate
“More opponents in their party have made their intentions known than those in support, sadly”
According to the C4EM there are currently 70 Tory MPs for with 53 against. Certainly nowhere near as many as Labour have announced but still the figures are encouraging
Here’s the link that you forgot to include.
Pedants’ Corner: It’s not a ‘pointed of order’ and there won’t be an ‘annoucement’.
The Scottish Government have not actually made a firm committment to announce their decision on 10th July, although I really hope they will do so.
Nicola Sturgeon only promised to publish the consultatin results “next month” – no specific date, and not the SG’s decision:
“I thank Patrick Harvie for his point of order because it gives me the opportunity to update Parliament. There has been slippage in the expected timetable, and that is simply due to the huge volume of responses—some 77,000 in total—and the time taken by the Cabinet to analyse and properly consider them. The Cabinet had a first discussion on the issue yesterday, and it has asked for further detail. However, Patrick Harvie will be pleased to know that we fully expect to publish the results next month, and I am sure that Parliament will have ample opportunity in due course to debate the issue.”
We also know that Scottish Govt spokespersons told the press this week that there will be a Cabinet meeting on July 10th, which will discuss the issue. What we don’t know is how quickly after that the Govt will (a) publish the consultation analysis, and (b) announce their policy position on equal marriage.
So we do know that it definitely will be discussed on 10th July. That is good news. I just hope that they will announce their decision either on the 10th July or if not, they tell us when they be announcing it.
Obviously I also hope that the announcement is that they’re going ahead with it! In the meantime, I can’t help but sometimes fear the worst! Things like the delays so far don’t help, even if they have good reasons for them (the 77,000 responses), and I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt over that!
Also other things like my own local MSP backtracking (and I’ve got an e-mail proving this) make my imagination run wild at times and I convince myself that it won’t happen in the end! Hopefully, I’m worrying about nothing, though!
Sorry to steal your link from the thread the other day, btw!
Some interesting points that caught my eye…
It’s quite a large survey, 1,968 people, so it should be quite accurate.
It was carried out quite some time ago, between 23 and 28 February. Since then Boris has been re-elected after banning the anti-gay bus adverts and President Obama has strongly supported equal marriage. Scottish opinion well be more gay friendly by now.
Religious people are not highly regarded, only asylum seekers / refugees and MSPs obtaining lower scores.
The Equality Network, Scottish Youth Parliament and LGBT Youth commissioned a more recent survey in Scotland (Ipsos Mori, sample size 1003), done three weeks ago, which found the same results. We got 64% of all Scots in favour of same-sex marriage and only 26% against. 75% of people under 55 are in favour.
All I can say for London is if it is voted down in Parliament, it will be the result of the majority of the Tories voting against it. It will need some Tories to pass it, but nobody really knows if there are enough to make it happen.
@ Robert in S. Kensington
> “It will need some Tories to pass it.”
Not necessarily. There are 650 MPs, so 326 votes are needed to win.
Labour and the Lib Dems have a total of 310 seats, so IF they all voted in favour then only 16 more votes would be needed. These could be supplied by the 26 ‘Other’ members (excluding Sinn Fein, the Speaker and the three Deputy Speakers).
To be passed in the Common it does not need any more than the Torys who publically support it – but it would be nice to have more
A landslide would be sweet victory as we saw in Denmark, 85-24 in favour. It would send a clear message to the bigots, their days would be beyond numbered.
Gerry, I hope that is the case. Don’t forget, not all of Labour are on board, the majority are thankfully but there are some who aren’t or undecided. I hope they evolve as legislation approaches.
Robert, I really don’t think it will be voted down in Westminster, for what it’s worth. I’m more optimistic about it happening in England & Wales than I am about Scotland! I think it’s because I’m too close to it in Scotland, though, being Scottish myself.
BennieM, I so hope you are right about that. I don’t trust the Tories. I hope it’s not all window-dressing.
1968 people is a large sample for a survey. Where do those people live? Most Scots live in the densely populated Central Belt where attitudes are no doubt more tolerant. I regularly visit one of the islands of the West Coast where I did have a brief relationship with a fellow Englishman who was working there but I was advised to be discrete as I am normally open about my sexuality. Unfortunately in manyof the more rural areas atitudes lag behind but the introduction of marriage equality should help take thoses areas into the 21st Century although I would like to see other aspects of the local culture to survive including the Gaelic language.
> “Where do those people live? Most Scots live in the densely populated Central Belt where attitudes are no doubt more tolerant.”
True. However, Stonewall state that the survey was conducted online, and that the figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in Scotland.
So it wasn’t a city streets poll: the Wee Frees, the Outer Hebrides et al are already duly represented. The results do not have any metropolitan bias and don’t need to be watered down – it’s the real thing !
Thanks Bennie and Gerry for great insights …
I will be so proud when my beloved Motherland adopts marriage equality. My husband and I are planning to fly to Scotland to marry again at Dunrobin Castle, the ancestral seat of Clan Sutherland, as soon as marriage equality is adopted.
I hope you have a fantastic wedding here in Scotland, Hayden!