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Scotland could learn from California’s experience on equal marriage, state governor says

Stephen Gray June 26, 2012
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The Governor of California has reportedly called on Scotland to lead on marriage equality legislation and to benefit from the experiences of California.

The Scottish government ended its public consultation on whether to allow gay couples to marry at the end of last year, with results due to published soon.

The BBC reports today that Governor of California Jerry Brown, believes Scotland should join global leaders on allowing gays to marry. Mr Brown met First Minister Alex Salmond in Sacramento recently.

In February of this year, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals had decided 2-1 to uphold the decision by Judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8 violated due process and equal protection clauses of the US constitution.

Mr Brown, a Democrat, said opposition to marriage equality had diminished over time in his state and Scotland could learn from such progress.

He said: “There was certainly opposition to same-sex marriage a decade ago, but very regularly this opposition has declined. So, I would say today maybe there is even a slight majority in favour of same-sex marriage.”

On political leadership, he added: “Our job is not to give brilliant speeches only, but it is also to lead the people and to get them to follow and so that is a matter where, each leader in each community, has to make their own decision.”

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said of the country’s consultation on the issue: “You can uphold great points of principle and wreck it all by having an inadequate process.

“I am determined in Scotland to have a debate which is worthy of the seriousness of the subject. But also people can have confidence in that their voice is entitled to be heard and has been heard as the process unfolds.”

All Scottish political party leaders and the majority of MSPs support a change in the law.

More: Americas, equal marriage, gay marriage, marriage, Scotland, US

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