Scotland moving forward with gay marriage bill

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the Scottish government plans to move ahead with legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.

Politicians from all the main parties have endorsed such legislation, but many religious groups remain opposed.

Sturgeon, according to the Irish Times, said, “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 this is the right thing to do.”

The government decision follows a “consultation” that resulted in almost 80,000 people expressing their views on gay marriage in Scotland.

Early July 25, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland told the Irish Times, “The Scottish government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale.

“However, the Church looks much further than the short-term electoral time-scales of politicians.

“We strongly suspect that time will show the Church to have been completely correct in explaining that same-sex sexual relationships are detrimental to any love expressed within profound friendships.”

But Tom French of the Equality Network told the newspaper, “The Scottish government have shown their determination to make Scotland a more progressive country. With cross-party support for equality in the Scottish parliament, we would expect that this change can be passed next year.

“Same-sex marriage is about equality and freedom: the freedom for couples, and religious and humanist groups that want to, to celebrate same-sex marriages; but equally, upholding the freedom of other religious groups to say no to same-sex marriages.

“That’s the right way for Scotland to deal with the different opinions on this.

“We have no problem with a small amendment to the equality act to ensure that religious celebrants who disagree don’t have to conduct same-sex marriages. We have always said that religious bodies and celebrants who do not want to conduct same-sex marriage should be free to opt out.”

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