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Scotland Approves Marriage Equality Bill

Jim Burroway

February 4th, 2014

Members of Scotland’s Parliament have overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill in a historic 105-18 vote:

And Health Secretary Alex Neil revealed the first marriages could take place this autumn – earlier than first thought.

He added: “We’re doing a remarkable thing today, we are saying on behalf of Scotland to the world, loud and clear that we believe in recognising love between same sex couples as we do between opposite sex couples.”

Neil said the legislation would “allow same sex couples to do what thousands of opposite sex couples do every year – get married”.

But he stressed the Scottish Government “respected the decision” of those religious groups who did not want to perform same-sex marriage, with protections included in the legislation “so they can not be forced to solemnise a same sex marriage”.

Scottish ministers have also reached an agreement with the UK government for an amendment to the 2010 Equality Act, which protects religious individuals and institutions which do not solemnize same-sex marriages from discrimination lawsuits . That amendment will need to be approved by Westminster before Scotland’s law can take effect. Scottish officials believe that same-sex marriage may become available in Scotland by fall.

Marriage equality will become available in England and Wales beginning March 29.

Comments

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bill johnson
February 5th, 2014 | LINK

I love that picture for this story. The debate was great and the margin of the vote is terrific. So happy for all the couples over there that will now have the opportunity to get married.

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