Deputy First Minister told she will lose seat over gay marriage support

Having said gay marriage is 'right thing to do', Nicola Sturgeon is told supporting it may be 'a vote loser'

Deputy First Minister told she will lose seat over gay marriage support
27 February 2013

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish Government should legalize gay marriage, but is now being told she would ‘lose more than she would gain’.

Adil Bhatti, former SNP national council member, said: ‘The gay community don’t have that many votes compared to those that you would lose from the religious groups like the Muslims and the Catholics.

‘There is an option the religious groups might not vote at all. I don’t think the Muslim and Catholic population will vote for her. I can’t say that there will be a complete blackout but the majority will vote against her.’

Last year, the deputy leader for Scotland’s leading party SNP said she was committed to fair and equal laws. 

‘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,’ she said.

The legislation will include ‘important protections’ for clergymen, teachers and parent who oppose it.

Last July, 36% of the Scottish people backed the move.

Anti-gay marriage lobbies, such as Scotland for Marriage, argue ‘civil liberties are at risk’ and marriage is only for making children.

SNP member Humza Yousaf said: ‘Most imams I have spoken to understand that religious freedom cuts both ways. While legal safeguards for mosques and those who do not want to solemnise same-sex marriage are vital, there is an understanding that what others wish to do in their faith institutions is entirely their own business.’

The Scottish government released their proposed legislation at the end of last year, and are running the consultation on the bill until 20 March.

In England and Wales, the marriage equality bill has passed the first vote in the House of Commons and is currently under scrutiny in the committee stage. 

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