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Scotland refuses to ban ‘any church’ from providing same-sex marriages

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  1. The Scottish Government now doing what Westminster were afraid to.

    Shows that they have balls!

    1. I disagree. Westminster’s ban doesn’t change anything in practice: the C of E has made clear that it doesn’t want same-sex marriage, so they won’t have it as an option. In 100 years, assuming the C of E still exists and has caught up with the rest of society, then the law can be changed. In the here and now the move pours cold water on their ludicrous – and deceitful – hysteria about being forced to marry us nasty gays.

      1. That There Other David 12 Dec 2012, 12:26pm

        The CoE really has shot itself in the foot with this ban thing. They’ve pretty much decided that Westminster has the right to legislate on what the Church can and cannot do whilst other religious groups can decide for themselves.

        I really hope they think crossing that particular line is worth it.

        1. Get the bigots out of the Lords…

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

            I’d prefer they get the Lords out of the Lords. A fully elected chamber made up according to whatever percentage of votes each party receives nationally in a General Election. That’s what we should have, not this tinkered-with medieval hangover.

      2. Yes indeed, the C of E and the crypto theocrats posing as mainstream politicians were obviously going to keep whinging about the church being *forced* to marry LGBT that the government were left with little choice but to ban the C of E from officiating. They can hardly complain now. And as the smaller denominations that wish to participate will be free to do so religious freedom has been enhanced.

  2. While I am very glad that the Scottish Government are getting on with legislating for equal marriage, I am puzzled at the need for another public consultation on the draft Bill, particularly when not every Bill goes through this.

    Surely the only people the Scottish Government need to consult on the draft Bill are it’s legal experts etc, to ensure that the Bill is sound?

    The public have already had a chance to make their views known during the first consultation, and afterwards the Scottish government decided to proceed with legislation for equal marriage because it was “the right thing to do.”

    I don’t see what good a further public consultation will do at this stage when the Scottish government are committed to equal marriage – why do they need to hear all views once again when they’d already decided to proceed with equal marriage? All it will do is give the bigots another few months to vent their hatred at us.

    1. Equality Network 12 Dec 2012, 12:20pm

      While it is certainly frustrating that there is another consultation, it is not unusual in Scotland, for significant bills, for there to be a consultation on the general ideas, and then another on the detail in the draft bill. In part it reflects the fact that the Scottish Parliament has only one chamber and there are only two opportunities to amend a bill once introduced there. At Westminster there are five amending stages.

      This consultation is not a surprise – the Scottish Govt said all along that they would consult on the draft bill. What we do need to do is ensure that they move ahead as quickly as possible after this consultation and get the bill into the Parliament.

      1. I do know that this second consultation was planned, but like you, I just find it frustrating that the Bill is being put to a formal public consultation like this. I just don’t understand what the public can tell the government about the legalities of a Bill. They won’t hear anything they didn’t already hear during the first consultation.

        Surely at this stage, it should be the government’s legal advisors and perhaps gay rights groups like the Equality Network, and even those religions who want to carry out same-sex marriage ceremonies who should be consulted, just to make sure everything has been covered, and not the general public?

        I just feel that this particular Bill is going through every possible stage that it can, when not every Bill does so. Look at the Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill – it had a formal public consultation at first but I don’t remember it having one on the draft Bill. And I don’t recall any consultation at all on the minimum pricing for alchol legislation.

        1. Equality Network 12 Dec 2012, 2:42pm

          It’s groups like the Law Society of Scotland, family law experts etc who will have useful input, as well as groups like the Humanist Society of Scotland and others, who will have useful things to say on how they will be approved to conduct same-sex marriages. Including of course LGBT groups and people.

          I am sure that there will be some technical amendments to the bill informed by some of those consultation responses. Certainly there is more work to be done to get right the provisions removing the divorce requirement for gender recognition.

          The consultation paper says “the analysis [of the consultation responses] will not be based on quantitative matters (ie how many repondents said yes or no to a particular question) but, instead, will be based on qualitative matters (ie the points made by respondents).”

        2. Equality Network 12 Dec 2012, 2:45pm

          I think, by the way, that the last thing we want is for this bill to end up like the Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill. That bill was widely criticised for getting things wrong, not least because it was rushed through without consultation. It certainly gets something wrong in relation to LGBT equality, despite rapid lobbying by us and others during the one week available to do so. We got one amendment, but not all that was needed.

          1. I understand the need for the Scottish government to consult with experts in the field to ensure the Bill is done properly, and if that’s what they were doing between now and March, I’d have no problem with that.

            I just don’t understand why this consultation is open to the public so the govt can listen to all views – that’s what the first consultation was for, all views were listened to and the govt. decided to proceed with marriage equality as it is the right thing to do. Why do they need to listen to all views now they are committed to the legislation?

  3. Jock S. Trap 12 Dec 2012, 11:54am

    The way it should be of course. I am please the Scottish government have made this sensible move.

    I do feel that here in England the Westminster government are having to do what they are to at least get this legislation through. Too many bigots are happy to stall any fairness and equality.

    1. I honestly think the UK government are committed to equal marriage (as are the Scottish government), but there is definately more opposition to it in Westminster than Holyrood.

      Of course, there are over 600 MPs to only 129 MSPs, and when you consider the Scottish Parliament is made of many more left-wing MSPs than right-wing, then it explains why there is so much more support amongst Holyrood MSPs than there is amongst Westminster MPs.

      Also, those opposed to it in Holyrood tend not to be quite so vocal as those in Westminster – maybe they don’t want to come across as being “too” bigoted in the face of such support in Scotland.

      I do think it will get through in Westminster, but it won’t necessarily be as easy to get through as it will be in Holyrood. I don’t want to say it’s a foregone conclusion in Scotland, but I really can’t see any good reason at all why it shouldn’t go ahead now.

  4. Oh well then- any Gay couple in England and Wales who WANT to get married in a Church can convert to the Church of Scotland and travel a few miles north!!

    1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 12 Dec 2012, 12:25pm

      This is true, and anything they do by way of financial or other support can go to that church too.

    2. Equality Network 12 Dec 2012, 2:48pm

      It’s likely to be along time before the Church of Scotland votes to conduct same-sex marriages! The United Reformed Church in Scoitland and some others will do though once the law is in place.

    3. 21st century Gretna marriages? :-)

  5. Scotland is always amazing. I would be happy to immigrate to an independent Scotland if it comes to that.

    1. At this precise moment I would be happy emmigrating from Scotland to somewhere warm & sunny – anywhere at all, I’m not fussy! It’s bloody freezing here today and I nearly slipped on the icy pavement this morning!

  6. That There Other David 12 Dec 2012, 12:27pm

    Well done Scotland. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the England and Wales debate in the Lords once the Commons vote has completed. If Scotland just goes ahead and implements it causes a major legal divide between the UK’s nations.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Dec 2012, 5:13pm

    My only hope is that Scotland goes ahead and legalises equal marriage ahead of England, making it harder for Westminster not to pass it.

  8. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 13 Dec 2012, 10:47am

    Well done Scotland, it is a very good start coming into the year 2013!!!

    We do not need the Lords to pass legislation. You just need to introduce the Marriage Equality Bill 2012 into the House of Commons, then it passes and gets rejected (as expected) by the House of Lords – then force the bill through to the Queen for Royal Assent by the Parliament Act 1912!

    It is just that simple! However the bill must be introduced to the House of Commons and must not introduced to the House of Lords for the Parliament Act 1911 to work!

    Remember the exact same thing happened 12 years ago, when the House of Lords rejected legislation [called the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill 2000] the UK age of consent finally equal for gay men was dropped to 16 – in-line with heterosexual and lesbian sex at 16!

    The Hunting Bill 2005 was also rejected by the House of Lords in 2005!

    I call it the UNDEMOCRATIC Bigoted upper House!

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