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Scotland to Take First Vote on Marriage Equality Today: Watch it LIVE

Scotland

Scotland's parliament is set to take its first vote on marriage equality today, the BBC reports:

The Scottish government's Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill is likely to be backed in principle, when MSPs vote on it for the first time. Ministers said the move was the right thing to do but the Church of Scotland and Catholic Church are opposed. Under the bill, religious and belief bodies would need to "opt in" to perform same-sex marriages. Individual celebrants who felt it would go against their faith to carry out same-sex weddings would also be protected, and the Scottish government has insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold ceremonies for homosexual couples in churches. MSPs are being allowed a free vote on the legislation, rather than along party lines.

They add:

Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships, and there has been an indication that the earliest gay marriage ceremonies could take place by the start of 2015, if the legislation is passed. The bill was brought forward after a Scottish government consultation, which produced a record 77,508 responses.

You can watch the vote live  starting at approximately 12:05 pm ET.

Watch LIVE (opens in new window), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I'm impressed with the bill put forth by Scotland, in my view it strikes the right balance between the expansion of marriage to same sex couples and affirming the individual freedoms of those who may oppose to solemnize said commitments. As we make the argument for Marriage equality, I believe it is important to express disapproval of what we view as prejudice, while respecting individuals freedoms to hold whatever position they may.

    Posted by: Rafael | Nov 20, 2013 12:23:24 PM


  2. It looks as if Scotland's parliament meets in a temporary concert rehearsal space. No?

    Posted by: Lars | Nov 20, 2013 12:27:15 PM


  3. I'm glad they're letting all mps vote as they please. Would that prick Tony Abbott would do the same thing in Australia.

    Posted by: woody | Nov 20, 2013 12:30:06 PM


  4. Does Scottish or UK law give an equivalent, express exemption to religious bodies and individuals about marrying people of a different faith? Or marrying divorced people? What possible purpose is served to grant an explicit exemption regarding same-sex couples, other than bigotry?

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Nov 20, 2013 1:56:25 PM


  5. The government bill - which still faces a final vote before becoming law - contains several measures, including:

    1) Allowing civil marriage ceremonies to take place anywhere agreed by the registrar and the couple, other than religious premises

    2) Religious and belief bodies will have to opt in to perform same-sex marriage

    3) Celebrants who are part of an organisation which has not opted in would not be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages

    4) Establishing belief ceremonies, such as humanist ceremonies as a "third form of marriage", alongside religious and civil events

    5) Authorising Church of Scotland deacons to solemnise opposite sex marriage

    6) Possible tests for religious and belief bodies to meet when solemnising marriages or registering civil partnerships, in light of increasing concerns over sham and forced marriages

    7) Introducing religious and belief ceremonies to register civil partnerships

    8) Allowing transgender people to stay married, rather than having to get divorced, when obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate

    9) Provision making it clear that the introduction of same-sex marriage has no impact on existing rights to freedom of speech and that it is possible oppose to same-sex marriage "without being homophobic"

    10) Amended guidance on the teaching of the issue in schools

    11) An intention to recognise same-sex marriages registered elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

    Posted by: Windswept-Scotsman | Nov 20, 2013 3:10:36 PM


  6. The government bill - which still faces a final vote before becoming law - contains several measures, including:

    1) Allowing civil marriage ceremonies to take place anywhere agreed by the registrar and the couple, other than religious premises

    2) Religious and belief bodies will have to opt in to perform same-sex marriage

    3) Celebrants who are part of an organisation which has not opted in would not be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages

    4) Establishing belief ceremonies, such as humanist ceremonies as a "third form of marriage", alongside religious and civil events

    5) Authorising Church of Scotland deacons to solemnise opposite sex marriage

    6) Possible tests for religious and belief bodies to meet when solemnising marriages or registering civil partnerships, in light of increasing concerns over sham and forced marriages

    7) Introducing religious and belief ceremonies to register civil partnerships

    8) Allowing transgender people to stay married, rather than having to get divorced, when obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate

    9) Provision making it clear that the introduction of same-sex marriage has no impact on existing rights to freedom of speech and that it is possible oppose to same-sex marriage "without being homophobic"

    10) Amended guidance on the teaching of the issue in schools

    11) An intention to recognise same-sex marriages registered elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

    Posted by: Windswept-Scotsman | Nov 20, 2013 3:10:36 PM


  7. I dislike number 9 especially....

    And overall, I don't see why religions should be able to have a say in my life, I have no religion, I don't believe in their god or gods.

    Religion is a choice, my sexuality never was.
    (If it had been a choice, I would never have "chosen" to be Gay.)

    Posted by: Windswept-Scotsman | Nov 20, 2013 3:13:02 PM


  8. I dislike number 9 especially....

    And overall, I don't see why religions should be able to have a say in my life, I have no religion, I don't believe in their god or gods.

    Religion is a choice, my sexuality never was.
    (If it had been a choice, I would never have "chosen" to be Gay.)

    Posted by: Windswept-Scotsman | Nov 20, 2013 3:13:02 PM


  9. Windswept-Scotsman, As far as I understand #9 doesn't create any new rights, it just intends to limit the reach of a new law. Also as this article was read, disapproval of the prospect of institutional prejudice was voiced.

    Posted by: Rafael | Nov 20, 2013 3:43:09 PM


  10. If they felt compelled to add No. 9, I think it should end with the word "speech" and leave it at that. The second part would appear to make assumptions about possibilities that are a matter of opinion (whether someone is homophobic or not).

    Posted by: Fox | Nov 20, 2013 3:59:15 PM



  11. btw - Per Pink News, it passed the first vote by an overwhelming majority: 98 votes to 15. 5 members abstained.

    Posted by: Fox | Nov 20, 2013 6:12:48 PM


  12. Holy rood, Batman!

    Posted by: woody | Nov 20, 2013 6:21:04 PM


  13. @Gregory In Seattle: there actually is an explicit exemption in UK equality law that allows religious bodies to discriminate on the basis of religion. I don't think it goes as far as allowing individuals within a religion to discriminate even if the religion's governing body doesn't want them to - the England and Wales marriage equality law also has a provision like this, and it did come in for a bit of criticism. There is no need for an exemption on divorce, as there is no law banning discrimination against divorced people in the first place.

    Religious organisations are banned from discriminating on certain grounds, such as race and disabilities, and for some reason nobody thinks this is a violation of their religious freedom.

    Posted by: James | Nov 20, 2013 7:51:04 PM


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