Marriage Bill Published in Scotland
June 27th, 2013
Scotland’s Health Secretary Alex Neil said the publication of the same-sex marriage legislation marked a “historic moment for Scotland and for equal rights in our country”.
The Scottish government proposals also aim to protect the rights of religious celebrants and groups who are opposed to allowing gay couples to wed.
Mr Neil told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “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.
Scottish supporters are in talks with UK government officials seeking an an amendment to the UK bill to to protect individual members of clergy who may not want to conduct same-sex ceremonies even if their denomination supports them. The UK bill has just completed its committee stage in the House of Lords and will reach Report stage in July.
Church of Scotland allows ministers in relationship
May 21st, 2013
Two years ago, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland allowed congregations to choose gay or lesbian ministers. Now it has expanded that to include ministers in same sex relationships.
In a compromise, it confirmed the majority’s traditional view of sexuality as being the position of the denomination while allowing more liberal congregations freedom to follow their conscience. ABC
Albert Bogle, who proposed the motion, said it was a compromise to move the debate between the traditionalists and revisionists forward.
“My motion is to be permissive and to allow those who want to do this to do it. But I want to affirm the position of the Church of Scotland in the historic tradition of the church,” he said. “It will give everyone what they want but it will keep us together.”
Due to the Presbyterian structure of the church, the decision now goes back to local areas (presbyteries) for confirmation.
Scotland’s legislature unveils draft marriage bill
December 13th, 2012
Scotland has introduced marriage legislation: (GayStarNews)
The Scottish government launched the ‘Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill’, which will introduce marriage equality, yesterday (12 December) alongside a 14-week consultation on its implementation.
The draft legislation will allow same-sex marriage in Scotland and give all religious and belief bodies (for example Humanist) the right to conduct same-sex marriages, if they wish to do so.
The timeline suggests that weddings may begin in about a year.
Following the close of the public consultation on 20 March, the Scottish government will make any changes to the bill that are considered necessary, then introduce the bill for a vote into the Scottish parliament.
It generally takes at least 6 months for a bill to go through parliament, so if the bill is introduced by May or June, it might be passed by around the end of 2013.
Depending on unforeseen changes to the timetable the first same-sex marriages in Scotland should take place in 2014.
In a month jam packed with international (and local) marriage news, this story uniquely appeals to me in an emotional way.
In gradeschool, there was a class – weekly, I believe – on music; kids played recorders and other instruments (poorly, probably) and sang songs. The song I recall as being the most interesting to me was about a bonnie prince fleeing for his life to an island called Skye.
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be King
Over the sea to Skye.
Scotland seemed such a mythical place. The men wore plaid skirts and played bagpipes and there were craggy cliffs and deep lakes and even a sea monster. Where else would a pretty prince sail off into the sky?
In college, a class on immigration and emigration sparked an interest in knowing my family background. Over time I discovered that the romance of the bonnie boat had a reality that played it’s role in the game of chance and genetic continuation that led to me.
In 1745 and 1746, the Highland Scots fought their last effort to remove George II, a German Hanoverian, from the throne of England and Scotland and restore the Scottish house of Stuart. The Kincaids were a Lowland family, but near the Highland border and with a long history of political intrigue and loyalty to the Stuarts. So although his father had political connections to King George, Samuel Kincaid and three of his brothers served in the rear guard supporting Charles Stuart (bonnie Prince Charlie) until their capture/surrender in April or May of that year.
Perhaps not surprising, they promptly “escaped” and fled to Glasgow where they boarded the ship where their wives and children were waiting and sailed off to America. And eight generations of Kincaids later, me.
So while I’m no more “Scottish” than I am the ethnic product of any of the other 254 people who contributed their genes eight generations back, I share the surname of that ancestor. And to the extent that any non-American place can be (my roots go far far further back here), Scotland is the land of my ancestors.
Scotland predicts equality
February 1st, 2012
From Pink News
The Scottish government, led by the Scottish National Party, concluded public consultation on equal marriage on 9 December. It was the government’s largest ever public consultation, with over 50,000 responses.
It will now analyse the feedback and publish their response in spring along with a draft bill, which will be open for expert consultation and voting by mid-2013, expected to pass as law by the end of 2013.
And why not? The Scots want it.
Opinion polls suggest a majority of Scots support equal marriage, including the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2010 which indicated 61% support versus 19% opposition. This included a majority of respondents following all the major faiths and political parties in Scotland.
Police Say Stuart Walker “Was Victim of Sex Attack”
October 25th, 2011
More details are emerging of last weekend’s murder of a gay Scottish man who was found beaten and burned outside of Cumnock in Ayrshire last weekend. Initial reports said that Stuart Walker’s body was found tied to a lamp post, but police say that those reports were incorrect. They do however say that the 28-year-old was the victim of a “violent and sustained” attack and that he may have been sexually assaulted. There are now reports that his charred body was partially undressed when it was found. According to the Daily Mail:
At a press conference at Kilmarnock police office, (Divisional Commander John Thomson) confirmed Mr Walker – a former assistant manager at the Royal Hotel in Cumnock – had almost certainly known those who killed him at Caponacre industrial estate.
Mr Thomson said: ‘I don’t think it was a random attack by someone who will strike again. I suspect Stuart may have known this individual or met this individual shortly before his death.’
Mr Thomson, who described the murder as a ‘vicious attack’, said there was a ‘possibility of a sexual assault’.
The Telegraph says that Walker suffered “horrific” injuries and may have been burned alive. Police have told the local Cumnock Chronicle that they are following a “‘significant’ line of inquiry” and believe that Walker may have known his killers. The Daily Record says that “names of suspects already understood to have been flagged up to detectives.” Police are not yet ruling in or out the possibility that the murder was a hate crime.
Gay Man’s Body Found Beaten, Tied To Lamppost And Burned in Scotland
October 24th, 2011
A small town in Scotland is mourning the brutal murder of a “popular and well-known” man, whose burned body was found on the side of a road at an industrial park outside of Cumnock in Syrshire. Stuart Walker, 28, was found beaten, burned, and tied to a light pole early on Saturday morning after he failed to show up for his grandmother’s 80th birthday.
Detectives say that they have not ruled out Walker’s sexuality as a factor in his murder. The Scottish Sun quotes “a police insider” as saying, “Stuart was a gay man and this will be one of the things that is looked at, but by no means the only thing.” The Guardian says that police are refusing to speculate on motive or possible suspects:
Detective Inspector John Hog said Walker was last seen alive about two hours before he was killed.
He said: “Stuart had been out with friends in the Cumnock area earlier during the night and was last seen alive by a family friend near to the fire station in Glaisnock Street around 2.30am on Saturday morning – nearly two-and-a-half hours before he was found.
“It is imperative that we find out where he was between 2.30am and 4.50am, who he was with and why this happened to him.
“From our inquiries so far, we understand that there may have been a number of house parties in the nearby Netherthird housing estate in the early hours of the morning.
“At this time we do not know if these parties are linked to our investigation or not, so, again, any information on that is important.”
Police are reviewing closed circuit security video tapes and are carrying out door-to-door investigations in the area to try to piece together Walker’s last hours. A Facebook page has been set up in Walker’s memory.
Welcome out, Graeme Obree
January 31st, 2011
Graeme Obree is a bicyclist with an impressive record (bikeradar.com)
Both Obree’s private life and his achievements on the bike have combined to make him one of cycling’s most enigmatic figures. The Scotsman claimed the World individual pursuit title in 1993 and 1995 but is best known for his innovative and pioneering attempts at the World hour record.
He claimed the hour record twice, in 1993 and 1994. The first successful, in Norway, saw him best a nine-year-old record held by Italian Francesco Moser using a hand-made bike constructed from spare parts dubbed ‘Old Faithful’. That record lasted only a week as Englishman Chris Boardman improved on Obree’s effort in Bordeaux, France during a rest day of that year’s Tour de France.
Obree reclaimed the record in April, 1994 on the same track used by his English rival after making adaptations to ‘Old Faithful’. That record was improved upon by Spaniard Miguel Indurain five months later.
But Obree’s accomplishments did not bring satisfaction. Because Obree had as issue nagging at him, one which he desperately sought to hide from himself. It led him to two suicide attempts before seeking professional help. (PinkNews)
“I was brought up thinking you’d be better dead than gay,” he said. “I must have known I was gay and it was so unacceptable.
“I was brought up by a war generation – they grew up when gay people were put in jail. Being homosexual was so unthinkable that you just wouldn’t be gay. I’d no inkling about anything, I just closed down.
“People say, ‘How can you be gay and be married and have kids and not know it?’
“But when I went to my psychologist she reckoned I had the emotional age of about 13 because I’d just closed down.”
But now the hiding is over. Obree came out to his ex-wife and children several years ago – and more importantly, to himself. Today he made his orientation public in a Scottish newspaper.
Scotland Couples Can Adopt
September 23rd, 2009
From the anti-gay website LifeSiteNews
Scotland’s devolved parliament has announced that, starting next week, homosexual partners may adopt children together and both be regarded as the child’s parents.
Previously the rules said that homosexuals could adopt only as singles. Legislation in 2005 granted adoption rights to unmarried couples, including homosexual partners in England and Wales.
Scottish Catholic Bishop Spews Homophobia
March 14th, 2008
A doddering senior level Bishop is convinced that there’s a secret gay “huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy” against Christian values.
Rt. Reverend Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell, said, “Rant rant rant vent drool spittle…”
Well, really I don’t care what he said. I just marveled at the idea that there actually is a Bishop of Motherwell and that his name is Rt. Reverend Joseph Devine. I mean, really, isn’t that the sort of name and title you’d expect of a nefarious churchman in a Shreck movie?
But if you want to know more you can check out the bile that abides in the brain of Father Devine or the response of the non-drooling crowd.
And enjoy your weekend.