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Scots equality charity warns against anti-gay scare tactics

Anti-gay marriage campaign tactics have been slammed as scaremongering by Scotland's equality campaigners
Anti-gay campaigning in front of Scotland's parliament, some of its tactics have been slammed as scaremoungering
Dan Littauer

Scotland for Marriage, an anti-gay marriage campaign group has warned that the same-sex marriage bill will compromise ‘civil liberty’, that anyone opposing it could be ‘sacked’, refused as foster parents, and discriminated in school.

The stepping up of the anti-gay marriage campaign comes as the Scottish Government launched a consultation on its draft legislation to legalise same-sex marriage in December.

Equality campaigners have slammed today (3 Feburary) the group for misleading information and anti-gay scare tactics.

A spokesperson for Scotland for Marriage warned that if gay marriage is legalized it will ‘impact on the civil liberties of ordinary men, women and children.

‘We face the prospect of employees being sacked … and couples being rejected as foster parents if they oppose the new legislation.

‘Schoolchildren could also be forced to attend homosexual lessons.

'We are now taking the campaign direct to the people throughout the country to put pressure on the Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)’.

The group has been campaigning aggressively delivering almost 250,000 leaflets throughout Scotland, and promoting their views with an extensive network of campaigners throughout Scotland’s 67 constituencies.

Scotland for Marriage said more than 36,000 people have now signed its petition, with around 375 names added every week.

However, The Equality Network, a charity at the heart of the equal marriage campaign warned against ‘scare tactics’ by opponents of same-sex marriage.

It said the proposed legislation will increase religious freedom by allowing religious groups to choose whether or not to conduct same-sex marriages.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill also includes ‘a guarantee protecting free speech and makes no changes that will affect education or employment’, the charity said.

Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: ‘Anti-gay campaigners will no doubt spend a lot of money on misinformation and scare tactics, but the large majority of people across Scotland support same-sex marriage.

This legislation will deliver equality and increase religious freedom, and that is why most MSPs and many religious people support it’.

The Scottish Government is currently running a public consultation on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, which will legalise same-sex marriage in Scotland.

The consultation, which is open to the public (follow this link), closes on Wednesday 20 March and a final version of the bill is expected to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament in summer 2013.

Opinion polls have shown consistent two thirds of the Scottish public support for same-sex marriage.

Two-thirds of MSPs have now signed the Equality Network’s ‘Equal Marriage Pledge’ committing themselves to voting in favor of same-sex marriage.

Signatories include First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet Ministers, and the leaders of all four opposition parties. Whilst 87 MSPs have now said they will vote in favour, just 10 remain publicly opposed. 

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