It’s official dears. The Scottish National Party (SNP) administration in the devolved Scottish Government promised they would publish their same-sex marriage bill in June. True to their word, the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill was published in the parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, on Thursday 27th June 2013.
The Bill makes provision for same-sex marriage while protecting rights of religious groups not to carry out ceremonies. However, it also for the first time allows Humanist celebrants the ability to officiate marriages for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
Some in the opposition parties, Labour, Conservative and Liberal-Democrat, in the Scottish Parliament accused the SNP of dragging their heels on the issue. Untrue dears, the simple fact is that the administration were so determined to get this right that they were tweaking and fine-tuning the legislation, so as to include trans people. The Bill thus fully makes provision for transgender people, including allowing transgender people to stay married when obtaining the full Gender Recognition Certificate.
There is of course some opposition to the Bill but this is mostly from the pressure group Scotland for Marriage, who state they will encourage constituents to picket the offices of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). In reality this will probably just be a handful of their own supporters doing so. Oh I really do hope they do so dears. We have hate crime laws in Scotland and it would give me the greatest of pleasure to see a bunch of ignorant homophobes being carted off by the police.
The Westminster government meanwhile is still working out their Bill for England and Wales, including having problems over trans people. Unless they can catch up, there may be a period, perhaps a year or more, where same-sex marriage is legal in Scotland but not England and Wales.
As terrible as that would be dears, it does throw open one possibility; that of English or Welsh people running off to Scotland to marry, possibly at Gretna Green, just as eloping teenagers used to do. Now, just how romantic would that be Loves?
On 24th June 2013 a video was released of Scottish celebrities and politicians supporting same-sex marriage, to the the lovely Amy Macdonald’s wonderful love song for Scotland, “Pride”.
Pride indeed dears. I’m not just welling up here, I am crying freely and the tears are streaming down my face as I type this.
I am so very, VERY proud to be Scottish today. Well done and thank you to Alex Salmond and the SNP administration in the Scottish Parliament.
Video message from the Scottish Health Minister, Alex Neil MSP:
Announcement on the Scottish Parliament website:
Scottish Parliament page for the Bill and explanatory notes: