Anne McTaggart MSP has welcomed the equal marriage bill for England and Wales passing its final stage, stating that “It’s time for Scotland to do likewise”.
Last night, the House of Commons approved the Lords’ amendments to the England and Wales marriage bill. It will now go for royal assent as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. With the introduction of the Scottish Government’s equal marriage bill to Parliament and the launch of Equality Networks outstanding video “Its Time” prior to recess, Anne McTaggart MSP has reaffirmed her support behind the bill’s passage through parliament.
Ms McTaggart signed the Equality Network’s equal marriage pledge to‘support the equal marriage campaign to lift the ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland’ in 2011.
The Scottish Government’s Equal Marriage bill aims to revise the law, allowing civil ceremonies to take place in other venues than a registrar office whilst protecting the rights of religious groups not to carry out ceremonies. This means that if a certain church backs same-sex marriages then clergy, choirs and others involved in organising church weddings in Scotland will be allowed to opt-out of taking part in the same-sex marriages if it goes against their beliefs.
Anne McTaggart MSP said:
“I am delighted that the equal marriage bill for England and Wales has overcome its final hurdle. At the core of this bill, and our Scottish equivalent, is the basic principle that marriage is about love and not gender. This is why I will support this bill and stand by the values of equality and social justice in Scotland.
“The bill will also protect freedom of speech and religion and so will allow the individual celebrant to make their own decision about their level of involvement.”