Marriage Equality Coming to Scotland, Ministers Announce

After a massive response to a consultation on the issue, political leaders in Scotland have announced the framework for legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage there and say they will build in religious protections, the BBC reports:

ScotlandScottish ministers confirmed they would bring forward a bill on the issue. Political leaders, equality groups welcomed the move, but it has been strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland…

…Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships and the Holyrood government has insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.

The Scottish government said; it would work with UK ministers to amend equality laws, to ensure those views were protected, and a bill would be brought forward to the Scottish Parliament to bring in the change.

Said Scotland's deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon: "We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – we believe that this is the right thing to do. We are also mindful of the fact that the leaders of all of the other parties represented in parliament support same sex marriage and that there is significant parliamentary support for legislation. The Scottish government has already made clear that no religious body will be compelled to conduct same sex marriages and we reiterate that today. Such protection is provided for under existing equality laws.