Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has described today’s vote on equal marriage in the Scottish Parliament as an “historic day for equality in Scotland”.

Mr Rennie said passing the bill would be an “an important step towards a fairer society”.

Urging MSPs to back the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, he said: “Equal marriage cannot come too soon for Scotland. It is wrong that people should be discriminated against simply because they happen to be in love with someone of the same sex.

“The message that this bill sends is simple. Same-sex partners do not love one another any less than other couples. They deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else.”

A Stage One vote on Scotland’s same-sex marriage bill will take place later on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Scottish National Party minister Alasdair Allan said he would not vote in favour of the bill – but he still expects it to pass.

If the bill does pass Stage One it will then go back to the committee stage to make any amendments (Stage Two) and then back to the whole Scottish Parliament once more for a second and final vote on the bill as amended (Stage Three).

According to the Equality Network, 98 out of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament have already pledged to vote in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

The Equality Network is holding a rally outside the Scottish Parliament at 1pm.

All five Liberal Democrat MSPs have announced they will vote in favour of the legislation.