Scottish campaigners have welcomed Wednesday’s Royal Assent of the same-sex marriage act for England and Wales, and are using it to redouble their efforts to achieve marriage equality in Scotland.
The Equality Network, based in Edinburgh, has issued a call to action for marriage equality supporters around the world to help Scotland become the next country to legalise same-sex marriage.
Supporters are being urged to show solidarity by contacting Scotland’s five party leaders and individual Members of the Scottish Parliament, to urge them to vote for the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, through new online lobbying tools on the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign website.
Director Tim Hopkins said: “We’re very happy to report that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 has just received Royal Assent.
“It is likely to come into effect in the first half of 2014, and same-sex marriages will be available then in England and Wales.
“Although the England and Wales bill passed with big majorities, we can’t take anything for granted here, and the campaign in Scotland needs to continue until our bill is passed too!”
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament in June, and the first major vote is likely to take place in November, following initial scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee.
Modelled on PinkNews’ Out4Marriage campaign, it has so far received messages of support for equal marriage by Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.
PinkNews has been working with and supporting the Equality Network’s campaign for equal marriage since 2008.