Scotland’s legislature unveils draft marriage bill

Timothy Kincaid

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.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
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.

Kincaid House – the oldest portions date to 1690.

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.


December 13th, 2012

As a Sutherland, I’m very proud of my ancestral homeland.


December 13th, 2012

I remember several Scottish songs from my childhood as well. Thanks for prompting that memory.


December 14th, 2012

This is a very positive development. I’m not as familiar with Scottish National History as I am with Irish history, but do they have the same issues regarding Church as the Irish do? I’m always interested in the religous backgrounds and if they are bucking an extremely religous “State” when they pass these laws.

Good for them either way.

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