Four of five main Scottish parties promise action on gay marriage
Four of Scotland’s five main political parties say they will take action on gay marriage ahead of next month’s elections.
The election manifestos of the two largest parties, the SNP and Labour, say they will consult on allowing gay couples to marry.
Meanwhile, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats go further. Both promise they will introduce marriage for gay couples and civil partnerships for straight couples.
Only the Conservative Party has not mentioned gay rights, marriage equality or equality in general in its manifesto.
Tim Hopkins, of the Equality Network, said: “We are very pleased that these manifesto promises are a firm foundation for taking equal marriage forward in Scotland after the election.
“We look forward to a constructive consultation followed by legislation which we think there would be a clear majority for in the Scottish parliament.”
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Labour’s manifesto says: “We also believe that the time is now right to consult on options to provide genuine equality for same-sex couples and their families, by addressing the different status of civil partnership and marriage. We are clear – Scotland shouldn’t be left behind on these issues.”
It also pledges to deal with the issue of historical gay sex convictions for actions which are no longer crimes and “investigate the best way” to allow religious civil partnerships.
The SNP manifesto says the party recognises the “range of views” on marriage equality and will open a consultation.
It adds: “We want our pupils to feel safe in school and will look to partners across education to deliver a renewed focus on anti-bullying initiatives, building on best practice. This will include efforts to tackle homophobic bullying in our schools.”
The Liberal Democrat manifesto promises that the party will “extend legal marriage to gay couples and civil partnerships to heterosexual couples”.
It adds that the party will work with Westminster to review the ban on gay men donating blood and encourage schools to do more to tackle homophobia.
The Scottish Green Party pledges new legislation for full marriage equality and says: We’ll work towards eliminating the barriers that prevent equality from progressing in Scotland.”
The party also promises to “prioritise” tackling hate crime with a “restorative approach to