Shetland youth politicians promote marriage equality in schools
Youth politicians in the Shetland Isles are actively promoting the Love Equally campaign alongside the rest of the Scottish Youth Parliament.
They say it’s their belief that Scotland’s move to legalise marriage equality will help to stem the tide of homophobia.
MSYPs Nicole Mouat and Emily Shaw told the Shetland News that while campaigning in local schools they came across what could only be described as “mild” homophobia among pupils.
Ms Shaw said: “Whenever we mentioned the issue – that men and women should have the same rights to get married as men and men or women and women – it was something that a lot of youngsters said [wasn’t] right.”
She added: “There will always be people who don’t want to accept that idea, [and] there’s nothing we can do about that – all we can do is educate them a little bit.”
Ms Mouat said she was optimistic that legalisation of marriage equality could change attitudes among the island’s youth.
“It’s still a new idea, it’s only becoming more accepted now, and the more you do to support them, the more people realise that it’s not that different, and they’ll come to accept it.”
The Scottish Parliament commenced the process of legalising marriage equality on 25 July, with the first ceremonies expected in 2014.
The new law will give same-sex couples the right to marry, and religious organisations the option to perform said ceremonies. In addition to this, mixed sex couples will be able to enter into civil partnerships.
Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien is not happy about the moves, however, and has further isolated himself from Alex Salmond’s government after suspending direct communication over the issue in question.