Stay calm: Gay marriage will come to Scotland

Don’t let partisan political squabbles get in the way of the bigger picture – delivering same-sex marriage equality, says Stewart McDonald

Stay calm: Gay marriage will come to Scotland
20 July 2012

Keep calm and carry on: Equal marriage will happen in Scotland – of that I am confident. Like many people across Scotland and on the twitter-sphere I was disappointed that The Scottish government wasn’t able to make an announcement on Tuesday (17 July) that it would be pressing ahead with a same-sex marriage bill. However it’s important that we look at the bigger picture here and remember who the real enemy is.

Since the announcement of setting up a sub-committee to look at issues surrounding freedom of speech and religious conscience I have been utterly depressed at the amount of partisan bickering between, particularly but not exclusively, Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) tweeters.

The setting up of this committee is a good thing. The last thing we want is for this bill to be caught up in a legal challenge in court or, worse, people’s marriages open to legal challenge and being nullified as has happened to some of our friends in North America.

Accusations of the SNP going soft on this issue and crumbling under pressure from our theistic friends, and unhelpful retorts from those seeking to defend the government whilst at the same time taking another swipe at the opposition, have actually caused us to be in the exact position that opponents of equality want us to be in; fighting each other instead of fighting them.

Our case is a positive one – a case for ending discrimination and making Scotland a much fairer society. It’s a statement to the world that says lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are part of our society and make a valued contribution to 21st century Scotland, and it’s right and proper that they are treated as equals.

When The Scottish government comes forward with a draft bill then all of us, irrespective of political stripe, religion, sexuality or gender, will have to pull together in what must be one of the most positive campaigns that ordinary people can get involved in; lobbying hard to ensure that when it comes to the vote in parliament our elected representatives respond by making Scotland fairer.

So I would appeal to those of all parties and none who are trying to score points on this issue; please stop. The onslaught of abuse, lies and slander that will be thrown at gay people during the passage of this bill from our opponents will be huge. We’ll be accused of wanting to damage society, foist our ‘gay agenda’ (whatever that is) on society and no doubt something will be said about children or bestiality. There is a bigger picture here. It’s bigger than any person, party or government. It’s about our country and the sort of society that we want to live in. This goes beyond party politics and no one will thank us if we turn it in to rabble.

Equal marriage in Scotland will happen, but it won’t happen by itself. So my advice to those who want to see it happen but were perhaps a bit disappointed by the further delay? Keep calm and carry on.

Stewart McDonald is an active member of the SNP and was recently a local government candidate for the party in Glasgow.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Corporate Australia adds to pressure on government over gay marriage

More than 50 businesses and corporations have combined their voices to call on the Australian Government to legalize same-sex marriage as the issue appears to be coming to a head in the Parliament
No thumbnail available

Gay artist paints Miley Cyrus with his tongue

Nathan Wyburn, 23, shows his admiration for the pop singer using very unconventional menths
No thumbnail available

7 queertastic New Year's Eve parties in the UK this month

Whether it's glamour in Glasgow or dirt in Dalston – welcome 2015 in style...
No thumbnail available

Two rival TV helicopter pilots who covered OJ Simpson chase 20 years ago are now transgender women

Zoey Tur and Dana Vahle were competitors who have since become friends
No thumbnail available

Israel MP performs gay marriages to protest claims they'd destroy the Jewish people

Mock gay weddings preformed outside Tel Aviv's Rabbincal court in protest of a ring-wing religious candidate stating that they would destroy the Jewish people
No thumbnail available

Israel politician: 'I'm a proud homophobe'

Likely parliamentary candidate says LGBTI people can be ‘abnormal’ at home but should not make demands of the state
No thumbnail available

Don’t boycott our vodka, you’ve got the wrong country, say gay Latvians

Westerners are boycotting Stoli Vodka in protest at Russian LGBT rights abuses. But it’s actually not made in Russia at all
No thumbnail available

Preacher cleared of verbally abusing gay couple

A Christian preacher, accused of calling a gay couple in the UK town of Taunton 'sinners' has been cleared of all charges
No thumbnail available

African-American church leader accuses Obama of releasing 'homo demons'

'Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black women. A white homo may take your man'
No thumbnail available

Double gay kiss live on Eurovision stage

Lithuania in historic Eurovision first