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Content about Scottish Parliament

February 4, 2014

Good sign? Hundreds of thousands of LGBTI people and their allies are eagerly waiting to know whether same-sex marriage will be made legal in Scotland

Call it what you like, but it appears a good sign is shining over Scotland’s Holyrood parliament today (4 February).

A rainbow has appeared, shining directly above the politicians as they decide for the final time whether to pass same-sex marriage.

It could be a blessing from an otherworldly, religious being if you believe in that sort of thing, or it could be a coincidence.

But by 6pm local time, we should know whether the majority of Members of Scottish Parliament back the bill to give gay couples the right to marry.

February 4, 2014

Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill making Scotland the 17th country in the world to legalize equal marriage

Gay marriage is officially legal in Scotland.

Members of Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage this evening (4 February).

There was huge standing ovation as the votes were announced. Politicians voted Yes 105, No 18 and there was no abstentions. 

This means Scotland is the 17th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

The new legislation, described as one of the most ‘progressive’ equal marriage bills in the world, will allow religious bodies to opt in to perform same-sex unions.

February 3, 2014

Scottish Government will be working with Westminster in an effort to implement the bill as early as possible

Scotland’s first gay weddings could take place as early as July, politicians have said.

The bill legalizing gay marriage in Scotland is expected to be pass overwhelmingly by Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) in a free vote tomorrow (4 January).

While it was expected the first gay weddings would take place in 2015, roughly a year after England and Wales, implementation could take far quicker than expected.

The Scottish Government announced they would work with the UK Government to speed up the process, as long as it passes the final vote.

February 3, 2014

Scottish Transgender Alliance's Nathan Gale reflects on the fight to get same-sex marriage legal in Scotland on the eve before the final vote

Tomorrow, Scotland’s Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) will vote on whether to pass the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill into law.

During the final debate on the Bill, it will be scrutinised by all MSPs, who will have the opportunity to make further amendments to the legislation before the final vote is held.

LGBT people across Scotland are eagerly waiting to find out whether they will at last be given an equal right to marry the person that they love.

February 3, 2014

Scottish Transgender Alliance's Nathan Gale reflects on the fight to get same-sex marriage legal in Scotland on the eve before the final vote

Tomorrow, Scotland’s Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) will vote on whether to pass the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill into law.

During the final debate on the Bill, it will be scrutinised by all MSPs, who will have the opportunity to make further amendments to the legislation before the final vote is held.

LGBT people across Scotland are eagerly waiting to find out whether they will at last be given an equal right to marry the person that they love.

February 2, 2014

Same-sex marriage campaigners have accused SNP politician John Mason of attempting to ‘wreck’ the legislation which is due to be voted on for the final time on Tuesday

Campaigners for same-sex marriage in Scotland are accusing a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician of a last-minute attempt to scupper the bill’s chances of being signed into law next week.

Members of Scottish Parliament are due to vote on the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill for the final time on Tuesday.

However, religious groups are opposing the legislation and demanding the bill should also protect opponents of gay marriage from discrimination based on their beliefs.

January 16, 2014

As the Equal Opportunities Committee unanimouly passes the spousal veto amendment, Scottish Transgender Alliance's Nathan Gale reflects on why this is a victory for all LGBTI people

In a major step forward for trans equality in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee today passed an amendment to the equal marriage bill removing the spousal veto on gender recognition.

The amendment, which was proposedby the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance, and submitted by Linda Fabiani MSP, means married trans people living in Scotland will be able to have their gender legally recognized without having to get the consent of their spouse.

December 16, 2013

Gay rights groups condemn the threat, saying gay marriage is the ‘right thing to do for a fairer and more equal Scotland’

Politicians are being warned to stop or amend gay marriage legislation in Scotland or they will lose their seat.

Anti-gay lobbying group Scotland for Marriage has said it will use its influence to unseat Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who support equal marriage.

Their efforts are focused on Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) politicians who voted overwhelmingly in favor of equal marriage last month.

December 16, 2013

Gay rights groups condemn the threat, saying gay marriage is the ‘right thing to do for a fairer and more equal Scotland’

Politicians are being warned to stop or amend gay marriage legislation in Scotland or they will lose their seat.

Anti-gay lobbying group Scotland for Marriage has said it will use its influence to unseat Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who support equal marriage.

Their efforts are focused on Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) politicians who voted overwhelmingly in favor of equal marriage last month.

November 21, 2013

Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly passed same-sex marriage in the first crucial vote, sparking outrage and joy from opposing campaigners

Gay groups are overjoyed and the churches are furious, it can only be the day after a gay marriage vote.

Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) overwhelmingly voted in favor of same-sex marriage yesterday (20 November).

With a whopping 98 in favor and just 15 opposed, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill looks set to fly through parliament and into law next year.

November 20, 2013

Religious leaders are furious and gay rights campaigners are hoping, it's the most eagerly awaited date in Scottish gay rights in recent memory

Scotland is preparing for the most crucial vote on same-sex marriage today (20 November).

If the marriage equality bill passes, then it is very likely Scottish gay couples will be given the right to marry in the near future.

Scottish Parliament will begin discussing the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill at around 5pm, before coming to a stage one vote at around 8pm.

While it looks set to pass, it is still unknown whether a majority of MSPs will vote to introduce equal marriage or reject the bill and deny LGBT people marriage equality.

November 20, 2013

Religious leaders are furious and gay rights campaigners are hoping, it's the most eagerly awaited date in Scottish gay rights in recent memory

Scotland is preparing for the most crucial vote on same-sex marriage today (20 November).

If the marriage equality bill passes, then it is very likely Scottish gay couples will be given the right to marry in the near future.

Scottish Parliament will begin discussing the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill at around 5pm, before coming to a stage one vote at around 8pm.

While it looks set to pass, it is still unknown whether a majority of MSPs will vote to introduce equal marriage or reject the bill and deny LGBT people marriage equality.

November 20, 2013

Members of Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality in the stage one vote, meaning Scotland looks set to become the next country to pass gay marriage

Scotland looks set to become the next country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Members of Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in its stage one vote minutes ago.

There were 98 votes in favor of same-sex marriage to 15 against.

Prior to the stage one vote, gay Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson – one of the most high profile LGBTI politicians in the UK - made a moving speech in favor of the bill.

November 19, 2013

As Scotland prepares for a crucial vote on same-sex marriage equality tomorrow, Stonewall’s Colin Macfarlane explains why the country needs to say I Do

Several months ago, Sam and Pipa, were kind enough to share their personal story with us and explain why marriage equality matters to them.

‘For us marriage means a loving commitment. It is a union recognised both legally and by society. To us, equal marriage would mean we wouldn’t feel like second-class citizens.

‘Love is love and marriage will show that we are normal, not different and we are just as committed as a straight couple.’

November 14, 2013

Insider claims government is hoping English, Welsh and Scottish gay couples will be able to be married at the same time in summer 2014

The UK Government is waiting for Scotland to pass same-sex marriage before gay couples can marry in England and Wales, an official has claimed.

In the four months since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed into law, no formal reports have been made on implementation.

But while the government remains silent, an anonymous source involved in the development of the law has got in touch with us.

They have claimed it is taking a year because this will be roughly the amount of time the devolved Scottish parliament needs to fast-track the bill.

October 14, 2013

Scotland for Marriage is considering legal action against the government after 4000 responses to the gay marriage consultation went missing after a technical error on their website

A legal challenge to stop same-sex marriage from being made law in Scotland is likely to fail, gay rights campaigners have said.

Scotland for Marriage (SFM) have accused the government of acting 'unlawfully' to bring forward the legislation without a full consultation. 

After a technical error on their website, they said 4000 responses to the consultation on gay marriage was lost. They said the consultation was 'botched' and their voices were not heard.

September 12, 2013

Church is considering stopping marriages altogether if it means they have to marry gay couples

The Church of Scotland is considering a stop to conducting all marriages if they have to marry gay couples.

Reverend Alan Hamilton spoke about the church’s stance on gay marriage after a meeting with Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee today (12 September).

‘Marriage is a binding force for good and will continue to be so for many years and generations to come,' to The Scotsman.

‘We hold to the historical understanding held by most Christians around the world that marriage is between one man and one woman.’

September 1, 2013

Double evidence sessions with LGBT and religious groups to be held from Thursday

The Scottish Government is aiming to fast track the same sex marriage bill so it is signed into law as early as March next year, reports have indicated.

Scotland's same sex marriage bill was introduced in June this year, following pressure from Scottish Labor to bring it in sooner.

Groups such as the Scottish Transgender Alliance, Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland will go before the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee on Thursday (05 September) to give oral evidence in support of the bill.

July 17, 2013

Gay rights campaigners are 'frustrated' the Scottish Parliament has not even debated same-sex marriage yet,

Scotland is being told to ‘get on with it’ after England and Wales made gay marriage law today (17 July).

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received Royal Assent today, allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Colin McFarlane, the director of Stonewall Scotland, said while he was happy his southern brothers and sisters will be able to marry in summer 2014, it was certainly ‘frustrating’ members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) had not started debating equal marriage.

July 17, 2013

Gay rights campaigners are 'frustrated' the Scottish Parliament has not even debated same-sex marriage yet,

Scotland is being told to ‘get on with it’ after England and Wales made gay marriage law today (17 July).

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received Royal Assent today, allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Colin McFarlane, the director of Stonewall Scotland, said while he was happy his southern brothers and sisters will be able to marry in summer 2014, it was certainly ‘frustrating’ members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) had not started debating equal marriage.

July 1, 2013

Nearly 90 now support the bill, with First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the three opposition parties, and every Liberal Democrat also in favor

The majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) support same-sex marriage, giving a much-needed boost to the recently revealed legislation.

Using polling evidence from recent years, The Equality Network suggests more than two thirds politicians support the bill.

There are now 89 MSPs who have stated their support, including the First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the three opposition parties, and every Liberal Democrat.

Only 11 MSPs have said they oppose the bill, with 29 undecided.

July 1, 2013

Nearly 90 now support the bill, with First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the three opposition parties, and every Liberal Democrat also in favor

The majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) support same-sex marriage, giving a much-needed boost to the recently revealed legislation.

Using polling evidence from recent years, The Equality Network suggests more than two thirds politicians support the bill.

There are now 89 MSPs who have stated their support, including the First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the three opposition parties, and every Liberal Democrat.

Only 11 MSPs have said they oppose the bill, with 29 undecided.

June 29, 2013

From the armed forces marching in strict order to community groups signing, dancing and blowing whistles, thousands joined the Pride in London parade

Huge crowds cheered a colorful celebration of gay marriage and marked a day to reflect on LGBT rights, at Pride in London (29 June).

The British capital’s pride comes at a time when same-sex marriage legislation for England and Wales is set to be passed by the UK Parliament in the next few weeks, with the Scottish Parliament not far behind.

But the plight of LGBT people elsewhere in the world, particularly in Russia where activists are attempting to mark pride in St Petersburg, was a dark cloud over the revelers on a day otherwise bathed in sunshine.

June 27, 2013

The Scottish Parliament’s only guide dog, Mr Q, pricked up his ears when he heard about the gay marriage bill

A canine champion of equality, Mr Q, is wagging his tail in joy now gay marriage in Scotland is no longer a shaggy dog story.

The only guide dog in the Scottish Parliament showed his support for the equal marriage bill unveiled there today (27 June) by wearing a ‘Woof for equality’ bandana.