The Scottish Equality Network, the key LGBT group campagining for equal marriage north of the border, has launched a video campaign modelled on the English Out4Marriage campaign to help convince the public and politicians of the need for same-sex marriage.
‘It’s Time’ features an extraordinary collection of Scottish celebrities, politicians, religious ministers, and ordinary couples from across the country voicing their support for equal marriage and declaring that 2013 is the year to make same-sex marriage legal.
The Scottish Equality Network has been campaigning for equal marriage since 2008, long before the UK’s largest gay charity Stonewall said that it supported same-sex marriage.
Last spring, PinkNews and partners launched the Out4Marriage campaign for same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
The Scottish Equality Network’s campaign will feature videos from the First Minister, Alex Salmond, and the leaders of all five main opposition parties in Scotland, as well as religious ministers from the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Quakers, Unitarians, the Metropolitan Community Church, and Liberal Judaism.
Some of Scotland’s biggest stars including Daybreak presenter Lorraine Kelly, actor Alan Cumming, actor Brian Cox, former Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy, Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri will take part, as well as Billy Boyd, John Michie, Michelle McManus, Susan Calman, Muriel Gray, Melanie Masson, Horse McDonald, Libby McArthur, Iain Stirling, Elaine C Smith, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Carol Smillie, Grant Stott, Pat Kane, Val McDermid, and the Proclaimers. The backing track, ‘Pride’, is sung by the award-winning Amy MacDonald.
Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: “We’re proud of the ‘It’s Time’ video campaign, which demonstrates the breadth of support that exists for equal marriage in Scotland, and reflects the values of equality and compassion that have always been at the heart of our society. Thirty-three years ago Scotland finally decriminalised homosexuality. Now, in 2013, it’s well-and-truly time that LGBT people were granted full equality under the law. We hope that in the coming months MSPs will vote by a clear majority to give same-sex couples an equal right to celebrate their love and, in doing so, they will send out a strong message to the world about the kind of fair and progressive country we want Scotland to be.”
‘It’s Time’ was filmed on location across Scotland by, the up-and-coming Glasgow-based video production company, Production Attic and was part funded by the trade union, Community.
Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of Texas, said: “I support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign because I believe that you should be able to love whoever you want to love, and you should be allowed to be with that person if you want to be regardless of sexuality.”
Alan Cumming, the award-winning Hollywood actor, said: “I wanted to take part in the Equality Network video campaign because as a Scot, I feel our country should be aware of the inequality that exists, as we are not a nation to discriminate.”
Lorraine Kelly, Daybreak host, said; “I wanted to support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign because I think two people who love each other and who want to make a commitment to one another in front of friends and family is something very special and should be applauded. Why should the fact they happen to be gay make a blind bit of difference? We need more love and more equality in the world. Equal marriage would be a step in the right direction and I’m baffled that anyone would want to oppose it and stand in the way of any couple’s happiness.”
Michelle McManus, the former Pop Idol winner, said; “I am supporting the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign because I think it’s an absolute disgrace that in 2013 we are living in a country where adults still do not share the same rights. Regardless of gender if you are lucky enough to find someone to fall in love with and spend the rest of your life with you should absolutely be entitled to marry that person for better or for worse in the eyes of the law.”
PinkNews’ Out4Marriage campaign attracted videos from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; Home Secretary Theresa May; Minister for Equality and Culture Secretary Maira Miller; Labour Leader Ed Miliband, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Shadow Home Secretary Yvonne Cooper, Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin founder; the film star Hugh Grant; Stephen Fry; the actor Simon Callow; the illusionist Derren Brown; The Saturdays girl group; Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary; Caroline Lucas, the leader of the Green party; Lynne Featherstone, the Lib Dem Minister; Peter Tatchell, the gay rights campaigner; Lord (Chris) Smith, the Advertising Standards Authority chairman and Rabbi Ariel Friedlander.
PinkNews and Out4Marriage founder Benjamin Cohen commented: “We’re delighted that Scotland’s fantastic Equality Network has turned to video to continue its brilliant campaign for same-sex marriage. We found that the videos and the associated mainstream media coverage of the Out4Marriage videos last year was hugely helpful in steering the news agenda towards positive coverage of the debate for same-sex marriage. I’m really looking forward to watch day in, day out, a new celebrity, political or religious leader’s video in support of Scotland making this historic change towards equality.”