On Thursday, the Scottish Parliament will begin hearing evidence around the equal marriage bill for Scotland.

The Equal Opportunities Committee will be holding its first evidence session on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

The committee will hear evidence from the Equality Network’s Director Dr Tim Hopkins, and STA manager James Morton, as well as groups opposing equal marriage.

The Equality Network has said it will make the case for equal marriage, and recommend improvements for the bill, including amendments such as removal of the “spousal veto”, lowering the minimum age for Gender Recognition to 16, reintroducing simpler evidence requirements for long-term transitioned people, allowing gender neutral marriage ceremonies, and allowing marriage between civil partners registered outwith Scotland.

The Equality Network’s full written evidence submission, including amendment sumbissions, is available to read on the organisation’s website. Twitter updates will be available at @LGBTScotland.

A live stream will also be available to view on the Scottish Parliament website.

Following the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act for England and Wales being given Royal Assent in July, the Equality Network, based in Edinburgh, in July issued a call to action for marriage equality supporters around the world to help Scotland become the next country to legalise same-sex marriage.

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.

PinkNews has been working with and supporting the Equality Network’s campaign for equal marriage since 2008.