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20/11/13 20:14

Same sex marriage

Same Sex Marriage Bill passes to next stage.

Welcoming the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill passing stage one in the Scottish Parliament, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil said:

“In a country that aspires to be an equal and tolerant society, this is the right thing to do.

“It is encouraging we have secured the support of Parliament at stage one of the bill and that we have agreed the general principles.

“It is an important step on the journey, but we will continue to work closely with the Parliament as the bill goes forward.

“The Bill makes it clear that there is no duty to opt in to the new arrangements. And the Bill imposes no duty on any person who is an approved celebrant to solemnise same sex marriages or register civil partnerships.

“However, we will look carefully at issues raised by members in the parliament as we now move to stages two and three.”

Background

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 26 June 2013 and covers the following key matters relating to marriage law:

  • the introduction of same-sex marriage
  • putting belief celebrants on the same footing as religious celebrants
  • the arrangements for authorising celebrants to solemnise opposite sex and same sex marriage
  • civil partnerships changing to marriage
  • the authorisation of Church of Scotland deacons to solemnise opposite sex marriage
  • allowing civil marriage ceremonies in any place agreed between the couple and the registrar, other than religious premises
  • and allowing married transgender people to obtain full gender recognition without a requirement to divorce.

The Bill also introduces the religious and belief registration of civil partnerships.