The Scottish Parliament is expected to legalise equal marriage later today.

Members of the Scottish Parliament will begin debating final amendments to the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill at 2pm.

A final stage 3 vote on the country’s legislation will take place at around 6pm this evening.

If the bill passes Scotland will become the 17th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.

Ahead of the debate, the Equality Network will stage an equal marriage vigil outside the Scottish Parliament from 1pm.

Ministers have suggested the first same-sex marriages in Scotland could take place by October.

Unlike the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales, Scotland’s equal marriage law will allow transgender people to stay married, rather than having to get divorced, when obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Last August, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Liz Barker expressed regret that the UK Parliament had failed to remove the requirement from the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Scotland will allow humanists ceremonies, unlike in England and Wales.

The Church of Scotland will not automatically be banned from solemnising same-sex marriages, in contrast to the Church of England and Church in Wales.

Along with its Anglican and Catholic counterparts, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland has stated that it will not sanction its clergy to marry same-sex couples.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is not currently considering any legislation to allow same-sex marriage.