Gay marriage bill published in Scotland
The draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill would also allow civil partnerships to take place away from registrars’ offices.
First Minister Alex Salmond has promised a free vote on the bill, the BBC reports. Meanwhile Health Secretary Alex Neil hailed the bill as an “historic moment for Scotland and for equal rights in our country”.
Speaking on BBC radio show Good Morning Scotland, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing stressed that the bill would contain legal protection for individuals and groups opposed to gay marriage, even if their church officially supported such unions.
Mr Neil told told listeners:
“We are striving to create a Scotland that is fairer and more tolerant, where everyone is treated equally. That is why we believe that same sex couples should be allowed to marry. A marriage is about love, not gender. And that is the guiding principle at the heart of this bill.”
“At the same time, we also want to protect freedom of speech and religion, and that’s what the bill sets out to do. That is why it will be up to the religious body or individual celebrant to decide if they want to perform same sex marriages and there will be no obligation to opt in.”
The Scottish government published a consultation on the bill in December last year.
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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