The Equal Marriage Pledge

We support the Equal Marriage campaign to lift the ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland.

1. MSPs

The Scottish Government’s Position

The Scottish Government’s position on equal marriage

      

The Scottish Government formally announced it’s support for same-sex marriage on 25 July 2012 when responding to the results of its consultation on the matter. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (with responsibility for the issue) outlined the reasons for the Scottish Government’s support for same-sex marriage, stating; “In a country that aspires to be an equal and tolerant society, this is the right thing to do.”

In a statement to the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament, on 4 September 2012, the Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of Scotland, announced that the Scottish Government  planned to bring forward a bill to allow same-sex marriage within the legislative programme of the Parliamentary session, stating “In promoting a fairer Scotland, we will legislate for equal rights.”

On 12 December 2012 the Scottish Government published its draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill for consultation. Alex Neil MSP, the new Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing said; “We are introducing same-sex marriage in Scotland because it is the right thing to do. We are striving to create a Scotland that is free, tolerant and fair and I am pleased to say there is support across the chamber for this significant step.”

Once the draft bill 14 week consultation closes on 20 March 2013, and after the results are analysed, it is expected that the Scottish will make any neccessary changes and introduce a final version of the bill to the Scottish Parliament in Spring/Summer 2013.

Scottish Government ministers and SNP backbenchers will have a free vote on the issue, but the First Minister and all Cabinet Ministers have signed the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage Pledge commiting themselves to supporting same-sex marriage. The Scottish Government does not currently have any plans to allow mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland.

Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MSP

First Minister of Scotland, Leader of the SNP, and SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East

“In promoting a fairer Scotland, we will legislate for equal rights”

Johann Lamont MSP

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and MSP for Glasgow Pollok


“I am delighted to support the Equality Network and their campaign. As someone committed to creating a fairer, safer and more equal society, free from discrimination and bigotry, I am proud of Labour’s action in government to tackle discrimination against LGBT people and in legislating to create civil partnerships. I believe that the public witness and celebration of same-sex relationships afforded by civil partnerships and the legal rights created have played an important role in changing attitudes to LGBT people. I support the campaign for Equal Marriage and legislation which would allow religious bodies to conduct same-sex marriages should they wish to do so.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Ruth Davidson MSP

Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and MSP for Glasgow

“I support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage Campaign. It seeks a more equal society while recognising that religious organisations which do not wish to carry out ceremonies should not be compelled to do so. The Scottish Government will bring forward legislation on gay marriage in this parliament and I want to ensure we have a workable way of advancing this issue for the people of Scotland.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Willie Rennie MSP

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife

“I want Scotland to be one of the most fair and progressive places in the world. Extending marriage equality to all is a really important part of that. The Equality Network should be congratulated on their fantastic job of highlighting how important this campaign is and I look forward to working with them as we enter the next stage of this debate.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Patrick Harvie MSP

Leader of the Scottish Green Party and MSP for Glasgow

“The Greens have long supported equal marriage, and it’s really exciting to see that it could be about to happen at last. I once saw looks of puzzlement and confusion on the faces of young LGBT people when they learned that gay relationships had once been illegal. I hope to see the same kind of reaction, not too many years from now, when young people find out that same-sex couples had ever been banned from marrying. This kind of discrimination is completely senseless, and it’s time to put it into the dustbin of history.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Linda Fabiani MSP

SNP MSP for East Kilbride

“To me it’s very straightforward – the laws of the land should be applied with fairness, and this inequality is just not acceptable.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Margo Macdonald MSP

Independent MSP for the Lothians

“I support the notion of marriage between two people who love each other and wish to live together as a married couple, regardless of their gender. I also support the right of churches to determine whether or not they will conduct same sex marriage ceremonies. I believe this to be a matter of individual conscience.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Ken Macintosh MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for East Renfrewshire

“I’ve always fought for fairness and equality, as a Labour Party member and as an MSP.  Marriage equality is a building block of the good society that I seek to create and I’m committed to campaigning for a change in the law. I’d like to see firm proposals brought forward that would put same-sex marriage in the statute book of the Scottish Parliament. I believe that by backing equal marriage we are sending out a strong signal about the importance of enduring and trusting relationships in a modern Scottish society.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Marco Biagi MSP

SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central

“I am 100% in favour of equal marriage, having been an organiser and campaigner for the SNP LGBT group for many years. I made clear my support in public just a day after being elected during an impromptu appearance as a speaker at Pride Scotia, which was being held in what had just become my constituency.

Marriage is society’s formal, legal and established recognition of commitment and love. Government must not deny it to couples based on their sexual orientation. As a nation we should be long past that. Religions must also be free to determine their own marriage practices, which they are not at present, since even those faith traditions who wish to offer same-sex marriage are forbidden from doing so. Both of these wrongs must be put right.” (Support pledged since 2011)

John Park MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife

“I am a long-time supporter of equal marriage and I believe that individuals have the right to choose who they marry. This is based on the fundamental principle of equality for all members of society regardless of sexual orientation and I will support any legislation which seeks to further equality in our society.” (Support pledged since 2008)

 

Jackson Carlaw MSP

Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and MSP for West of Scotland

“I am backing equal marriage. In my opinion, marriage is about much more than the legal recognition of a loving relationship. Marriage is about love, commitment, and an enduring partnership with another person. The values represented by this commitment are not exclusive to heterosexual couples, nor should the right to marry be exclusive to heterosexual couples.” (Support pledged since 2011)

 

Jim Hume MSP

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the South of Scotland

“Equal marriage is about removing barriers. In my view, if a loving couple want to formalise their relationship through a religious ceremony, then they shouldn’t be prevented from doing so and that’s why I’m supporting Equality Network’s campaign.” (Support pledged 2011)

Kezia Dugdale MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for the Lothians

“I am absolutely committed to the principle of equality before the law, regardless of sexual orientation and I therefore support Equal Marriage.  I believe that true equality means not only extending marriage rights to same-sex couples but also allowing heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships, should they so wish.

While I understand that this issue is not as clear cut for all groups, I believe that a balance between freedoms can be found in allowing religious organisations who wish to conduct marriage ceremonies for same sex couples on their premises, permission to do so.

Although I agree that no faith should be forced to conduct ceremonies for same sex couples, it is unfortunate to see this issue misrepresented so readily in the media. The imposition of equal marriage on all faith groups has never been on the agenda and I remain personally disappointed to see it cloud much of the debate around equal marriage.

In my view, the definition of marriage should not be defined as an act before one god or another. It is neither exclusively a religious term nor one that the state has any interest in narrowing. In allowing same-sex couples to get married, the Government would be widening the definition so that it stood as a lifelong statement of a union between two people before the eyes of the law. It is that statement of love and commitment which is important, not the gender or sexuality of the parties involved.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Sarah Boyack MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for the Lothians

“In the past three Parliaments I have supported measures to tackle prejudice, intolerance and discrimination in all its forms.

I was proud to support the introduction of civil partnerships and believe that the time is now right to take a step further to provide genuine equality not only for same-sex couples looking to marry but also heterosexual couples who want a civil partnership.

This is a move that the majority of Scots want to see and I am keen to see changes made that will deliver greater equality while protecting the discretion that faith groups have to conduct religious ceremonies in accordance with their faith.”

(Support pledged since 2011)

Claudia Beamish MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for South Scotland

“I am hugely supportive of the principle of marriage equality, and I believe that marriage should be available to all couples who choose to make this commitment with fairness and tolerance being at the core at all times. Scotland has a chance to lead the way in the UK on this issue, ensuring that marriage is an institution about commitment and love regardless of the makeup of the couple. I am also clear however that no faith group should be obliged to carry out any ceremony against their principles. I hope that at the same time the barriers which prevent heterosexual couples from entering into civil partnerships will be removed. I commend the work of the Equal Marriage campaign and hope that the Scottish Government will come forward with legislation on this issue soon.” (Support pledged since 2011)

John Finnie MSP

SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands

“I look forward to a progressive, diverse and equal Scotland. It is my belief that there cannot be any caveats to equality.  I support the proposal to equalise Scotland’s marriage laws and look forward to voting in favour when the issue come before the Scottish Parliament.”

(Support pledged since 2011)

 

Richard Baker MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for North East Scotland

“I think Scotland will be a better place if in our society same-sex couples who want to marry can do so. I believe when people make such a commitment to each other it should be recognised by society. This commitment is equally important regardless of sexuality and so it cannot be right to deny same-sex couples the right to marriage. I congratulate the Equality Network on their campaign.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Joan McAlpine MSP

SNP MSP for South Scotland

“I support equal marriage in both religious and civil ceremonies and will vote in favour of it. Most people in Scotland feel the same way, we are a tolerant country and accept that couples should be able to solemnise their relationships. I support the Scottish government’s suggested exemption for those religious denominations who do not want to conduct same sex ceremonies. This might mean that Westminster has to strenghthen the religious exemption in the equality legislation, which is reserved to London.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Malcolm Chisholm MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith

“I believe absolutely in equality  and  marriage should be an option that is available to all irrespective of sexual orientation. I respect those who take  a different view for  religious reasons but they cannot be allowed  to impose that view on the rest of society.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Neil Findlay MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for the Lothians

“I have fought for social and economic equality and justice all my life, it would hypocritical for me not to support the right of people who love each other to have this recognised by marriage if that is what they want.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Dr Richard Simpson MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife

“When the proposals for Civil Partnerships were first made I was supportive of that cause and welcomed legislation to allow for civil partnerships. I am equally supportive today for those who wish to be married and encourage the Government to table legislation ensuring the organisations who wish to conduct same-sex marriages be allowed.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Mary Fee MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for West Scotland

“I am happy to support the Equal Marriage campaign as equality must be extended to every person in Scotland and the UK; regardless of sexuality, race, gender or background. The option of marriage must be available for everyone in Scotland.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Rhoda Grant MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for the Highlands & Islands

“I believe marriage should be open to every couple who wish to make that commitment, however I also believe that churches and their celebrants must continue to be able to decide whether or not to perform a marriage ceremony in accordance with their rules and beliefs.” (Support pledged since 2011)

James Dornan MSP

SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart

“For me supporting equality in marriage is an issue of human rights. Any loving couple should be entitled to show their love and commitment to each other through a marriage ceremony. I am happy to sign this Equal Marriage Pledge in support of marriage equality.”

Iain Gray MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for East Lothian

“The struggle for equality has been long and hard fought.  The time has come for this step on that road, equality in marriage.”

(Support pledged since 2012)

Alison McInnes MSP

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland

“I wholeheartedly support the view that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Whether they do so should be a matter of choice for the individuals not the state. Every Scot should be entitled to the same rights and afforded the same dignity regardless of sexuality.”

Dr Aileen McLeod MSP

SNP MSP for South Scotland

“To my mind marriage is a union entered into by two people who love each other, regardless of sexual orientation.  That is why I fully support the Equality Network’s campaign and do so with the intention of voting through equal marriage in the Scottish Parliament. I also believe it is right and proper that those who do not want to conduct same sex ceremonies should not be obliged to do so and that there should be choice. I pride myself on being Scottish and I pride Scotland on being an equal and diverse nation – allowing same-sex marriage and removing the barriers for heterosexual couples to enter into a civil partnership are all that is stopping us from being an even more equality led country.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP

SNP MSP for Cunninghame North

“Equal Marriage will be an important step to creating a fully inclusive, tolerant and equal society.”

Margaret McDougall MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for West of Scotland

“The Labour Party stands for equality for all and that applies to marriage too.”

 

David Stewart MSP

Scottish Labour Party MSP for Highlands & Islands

“I want to see Scotland become a fairer and more equal society and believe that everyone should be entitled to marry and commit to the person that they love.   I support the right of religious institutions and faith groups to conduct ceremonies in accordance to their beliefs and I support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign.”

2. MPs

Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP

Leader of the Labour Party

“The introduction of civil partnerships was one of the most significant changes introduced by Labour. Those equalities now have overwhelming public support and are being copied by many countries around the world. I strongly agree that gay and lesbian couples should have an equal right to marry and deserve the same recognition from the state and society as anyone else.” (Support pledged since 2010)

Anas Sarwar MP

Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and MP for Glasgow Central

(Support pledged since 2011)

Willie Bain MP

Scottish Labour Party MP for Glasgow North

“There have been two recent inspiring statements from international politicians in favour of equal rights for the LGBT community. Firstly, Penny Wong, a Minister in the Australian Labor Government, said in her speech at the ALP Conference, which voted to make same-sex marriage part of its policy platform: “Equality does not diminish the worth of your relationships. It simply recognises the worth of ours.”

Secondly, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Geneva on International Human Rights Day, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

In this country, I urge people to support the Equal Marriage campaign, to make Scotland the 11th nation to recognise same-sex marriage, and make real the concept of equality before the law, so  that loving relationships between people who wish to marry should be recognised by the state and society as marriage regardless of gender or sexuality.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Ian Davidson MP

Scottish Labour Party MP for Glasgow South West

(Support pledged since 2011)

Tom Harris MP

Scottish Labour Party MP for Glasgow South

“The campaign for Equal Marriage is proof that marriage as an institution is more popular than ever. How can such an institution be undermined if more people want to get married instead of live together? My advice to those who oppose the idea of gay people marrying? Don’t get married to a gay person.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Gordon Banks MP

Scottish Labour Party MP for Ochil and South Perthshire

“I am supportive of Equal Marriage and I hope the Scottish Government takes this historic opportunity to ensure that all loving and committed partnerships are viewed equally in the eyes of the law.” (Support pledged since 2011)

Mike Crockart MP

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West

“I fully support the Equal Marriage Campaign calling on the Scottish Government to lift the discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland. It is disgraceful that fully consenting adults in a supposedly modern society should be prevented from entering into these unions purely on the basis of gender. I am delighted that so many Scots have signed up to this campaign, and will be doing all I can to ensure that this illiberal and prejudiced situation is corrected as soon as possible.”

 

 

Mike Weir MP

SNP MP for Angus

“I firmly believe couples should be able to enter into marriage or civil partnership irrespective of their gender or sexual preference. It makes absolutely  no sense to deny gay couples the right to commit to each other in marriage in exactly the same way as heterosexual couples.”

 

Ian Murray MP

Scottish Labour Party MP for Edinburgh South

I’m delighted to support the campaign for Equal Marriage.  Loving and committed couples, regardless of gender or sexuality, should be able to marry which is recognised by state and society.  I would urge people to support this important campaign.”

Jo Swinson MP

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire

“If a couple are in love they should be allowed to get married whether they are gay or straight.  It’s as simple as that.  Anything else is unfair and discriminatory.”

3. MEPs

Catherine Stihler MEP

Scottish Labour Party MEP for Scotland

“I fully support the Equal Marriage campaign. It is vital that the state recognises the value of love and relationships. A change in the law would send out a clear message that Scotland is committed to tackling bigotry towards gay, lesbian and transgender couples. To oppose same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnerships is nothing more than prejudice.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Struan Stevenson MEP

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party MEP for Scotland

“Scotland must be a nation free of discrimination and prejudice and that means the law must recognise same-sex marriages in exactly yhe same way as it recognises mixed-sex marriages.” (Support pledged since 2008)

David Martin MEP

Scottish Labour Party MEP for Scotland

“Many MEPs from all political groups support equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In the UK, this includes ending the ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex partnerships. Same-sex relationships should be on the same legal basis as mixed-sex relationships across the EU.” (Support pledged since 2011)

4. Councillors

Cllr Angela Blacklock

Scottish Labour Party Councillor for Leith Walk Ward, The City of Edinburgh Council

(Support pledged since 2011)

5. Political Parties

The Scottish Green Party

“The Scottish Green Party has long supported equal marriage, and it’s really exciting to see that it could be about to happen at last. This kind of discrimination is completely senseless, and it’s time to put it into the dustbin of history.” (Support pledged since 2008)

The Scottish Socialist Party

“The Scottish Socialist Party fully supports the principle of providing the same choices to all couples regardless of their gender and is in favour of removing all forms of legal discrimination against same-sex couples as part of the wider struggle to eradicate all forms of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.” (Support pledged since 2011)

The Socialist Labour Party (Scotland)

“Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are still treated as second-class citizens because of their sexual preferences and orientation. The Socialist Labour Party is committed to abolition of all laws, which discriminate against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

Homosexual partnerships should be recognised, including legally on a par with heterosexual ones. When it comes to any aspect of criminal law, homosexual behaviour should be treated exactly the same way as heterosexuality.” (Support pledged since 2008)

6. Equality & Human Rights

The Equality Network

The Equality Network Founded the Equal Marriage Campaign in 2008, as Part of Our Mission to Work for Equality and Human Rights for LGBT people in Scotland.

The Equality Network founded the campaign for Equal Marriage in 2008. We have been fighting for equal partnership rights since we were established as a Scottish charity in 1997. We believe that LGBT people should be treated as equals under the law, and that means equal access to marriage for same-sex couples.

Amnesty International Scotland

The Scottish Office of the International Human Rights Charity

“Amnesty International fully supports the Equal Marriage campaign. We believe that from a human rights perspective, the Scottish Government’s proposals deliver equal rights for same-sex couples, whilst promoting and extending the right to religious freedom. Amnesty has a strong history of standing up for and supporting the rights of the LGBT communities around the world. In too many countries LGBT people still face discrimination and persecution, that ranges from ill-treatment and violence to execution, imprisonment and torture. We believe the Scottish Government’s proposals will proudly place Scotland at the forefront of promoting equality and human rights for LGBT people nationally as well as internationally.” (Support pledged since 2008)


LGBT+ Liberal Democrats

The LGBT Organisation for the Liberal Democrat Party

“Civil Partnerships, pioneered in Parliament by the Lib Dem Lord Lester, represent a great step forward given where we were ten or twenty years ago. But the law as it stands implies that lesbian or gay partners, and bisexuals in same-sex partnerships, need to be treated separately – as if their love and relationships are somehow different. Love is love. It’s time to move on.” (Support pledged since 2008)

LGBT Labour

The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Rights.

Crosslynx

A Support Group Based in Glasgow for Transvestites, Transsexuals and Transgendered People.

The Gender Trust

A National Charity Providing Support and Information to People Affected by Gender Identity Issues.

7. Faith & Belief

The Humanist Society of Scotland

The Third Largest Provider of Marriages in Scotland

“The Humanist Society of Scotland has over 7000 members and is the third largest provider of marriages in Scotland. Despite our clear wish to conduct same-sex marriages, as the law stands, we are wrongly prevented from doing so. This is an unacceptable infringement on our freedom of belief. As Humanists, we seek to reflect the views of the growing majority of Scots who have no religious affiliation and who want to promote a secular Scotland in which there is equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief. We fully support the Equal Marriage campaign to lift the ban on same-sex marriage in Scotland and will be submitting a detailed response to the Scottish Government supporting equality.” (Support pledged since 2008)

The Iona Community

“The Iona Community supports the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign and it’s three aims to: 1) Lift the ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership, 2) Allow religious and humanist celebrants to legally solemnise same-sex marriage, 3) Put an end to the discrimination faced by transgender people and their partners.

The Iona Community, faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight, transgender and intersex people at all levels: as Members, Associates, Friends; as staff and volunteers; and as guests in our centres.  We believe that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and we are therefore convinced that there is no reason, theological or practical, to do otherwise.

We do not exclude any person from membership, leadership or service on account of their sexuality.  As individuals, as an employer, as an organisation, as a movement and as a family, we celebrate the gift of diversity, practise thoughtful hospitality, and work for the creation of places of safety where all may feel welcomed and affirmed.

We therefore believe that all human beings are entitled to the right to form enduring and loving partnerships including marriage. There should be no discrimination based on sexual orientation.” (Support pledged since 2011)

The World Congress of GLBT Jews

An international organisation working for the interests of LGBT Jews around the world.

“The World Congress of GLBT Jews is proud to stand with progressive voices in Scotland. Equal Marriage is a key civil right that should be available to all couples regardless of sexual orientation.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Liberal Judaism

Liberal Judaism affirms the dynamic, developing character of the Jewish religious tradition.

8. Youth & Student

The Scottish Youth Parliament

The Democratically Elected Voice of Scotland’s Young People.

“The young people of Scotland want to live in a Scotland which is truly equal, where every Scot has access to the same rights regardless of their sexual orientation. We know this to be true because we have asked them. Through the consultation and campaigning work, our MSYPs (Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament) from all over Scotland have spoken with thousands of young people on the issue of marriage equality. They are overwhelming in their support. Through our national campaign ‘Love Equally’, we have encouraged these young people to voice their support, engage in the democratic process and respond to the government’s consultation a process which is a the heart of the SYP’s mission – to raise the voice of young people in Scotland and to ensure that voice is listen to by decision makers.” (Support pledged since 2011)

LGBT Youth Scotland

Scotland’s Largest Youth and Community-Based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Organisation

“LGBT Youth Scotland has been working to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people to have their voices heard on an issue which has been exceptionally important to them – marriage equality.  Many of the young people we work with are particularly vulnerable and  often don’t have the opportunity to have their voices heard. Through campaigning with the LGBT National Youth Council we have received the highest number of young people responses for any consultation we have ever been involved in. This has been an undeniably empowering process for young people to have their voices heard in a democratic process that can feel very alien and scary.” (Support pledged since 2008)

National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland

The National Representative Body of 530,000 Students Studying in Further and Higher Education in Scotland.

“The NUS Scotland LGBT Campaign fully supports the fight for equal marriage rights in Scotland. We would not accept a segregated system of partnership rights that discriminates on the basis of race, so why should we accept it on the basis of sexual orientation? The message that this ‘separate but equal’ system sends out is that same-sex couples are different, and by implication, inferior to mixed-sex couples. It reinforces homophobic prejudice in society and does not represent equality under the law.” (Support pledged since 2008)

SNP Students

The Official Student Wing of the Scottish National Party

“SNP Students supports a right to equal marriage for all those who want it and the right for all religious opinions to be respected. We must respect the different feelings and opinions on the issue from a variety of groups from across Scotland, and we believe that it is correct that there is a safeguard for those who may not want to solemnise same sex marriages. Scotland is a place of inclusiveness, fairness and equality and it is time the law was changed to reflect these values.”

Young Scots for Independence (YSI)

The Official Youth Wing of the Scottish National Party

“We fully support the Equal Marriage campaign.  As an organisation that campaigns for a better, fairer Scotland we put equality at the heart of what we do.  We’re delighted to add our support to what we consider to be a natural step toward achieving equality for all and encourage all our members and supporters to pledge their support too.

We believe the legislation being proposed by the Scottish Government recognises the rights of those who wish to have their relationships recognised on equal terms and respects and safeguards the position of those religious organisations that do not wish to solemnise same-sex unions.  We are confident this legislation will pass in the Scottish Parliament and look forward to it being the next step in making Scotland a fairer place for all.”

Scottish Young Labour

The Official Youth Wing of the Scottish Labour Party

“Marriage is about making a commitment to the person that you love, regardless of whether the couples are mixed or same sex. Love should be treated equally no matter what. As the party that first introduced civil partnerships we are fully committed to the Equal marriage campaign and will continue to campaign for it.”

Scottish Labour Students

The Official Student Wing of the Scottish Labour Party

“The ability to love one another is something we should celebrate. The love between two people does not change due to who they are and the union between these two people should not change on this basis either. Scottish Labour Students support Equal Marriage because we want to live in a society where we value the love between two people equally. Our society needs to be based on values of equality and freedom. We hope that very soon that Scotland will have equal marriage for all.”

 

Conservative Future Scotland

The Official Youth Wing of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

“We should all support the idea of marriage equality as our Government does not have the right to say that one form of love is to be preferred to the detriment of others. Lifting the ban on same-sex marriage is the right thing to do.”

Liberal Youth Scotland

The Official Youth Wing of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

“Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. It’s a matter of simple human fairness. Providing separate institutions for different sexualities isn’t equality, it’s segregation.”

 

The Scottish Young Greens

The Official Youth Wing of the Scottish Green Party

“Equal marriage has received widespread support from the public, and by backing marriage rights for same-sex couples, Scotland can show the kind of progressive society that it wants to be in the 21st century. This issue is of particular importance to many young people, who want to see the Scottish Government take steps towards a fairer future for all. We urge you to support this historic change.”

(Support pledged since 2008)

IGLYO [International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation]

An international membership-based umbrella organisation that aims to empower its Members in better representation of LGBTQ youth and student issues.

“Marriage equality has been achieved elsewhere in Europe and is an important step towards liberation for all. When two LGBTQ people make a lasting commitment to each other, they deserve for its legitimacy to be recognised. Separate but equal partnership systems do not promote equality: they do exactly the opposite. IGLYO strongly supports Scotland’s Equal Marriage campaign.” (Support pledged since 2008)

National Student Pride

An organisation that runs the annual national pride event for LGBT students in the UK.

“National Student Pride supports the Equal Marriage campaign’s fight to lift the ban on same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland. Same-sex and mixed-sex couples should be equal under the law, but the current segregated system of partnership recognition treats same-sex couples as though they were inferior. It’s about time the Scottish Government followed countries including Spain, South Africa, Canada and Norway in delivering equal marriage rights for all couples regardless of their sexual orientation.” (Support pledged since 2008)

 

Edinburgh University Amnesty society

An Amnesty International Affiliated Society at the University of Edinburgh Campaigning for Human Rights

“Amnesty International fights to uphold human rights all over the world. We support the Equal Marriage campaign because gay rights are human rights – everyone has the right to love who they want to.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Edinburgh University Liberal Democrats

The Student Scottish Liberal Democrat Society at the University of Edinburgh

“The success of civil partnerships demonstrates that there is no issue with same-sex couples having family law rights. There should be no reason then to stop short of full marriage rights under the law. Nobody is suggesting that any group be forced to marry people, but the prohibition of same-sex marriages certainly discriminates against those religions who would like to perform them. Furthermore, there is no such thing as ‘separate but equal’. The Equal Marriage campaign calls for the opening of marriage registration to same-sex couples and the opening of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples, ending an inherent discrimination in the current family law arrangement, an aim we fully support.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Edinburgh University Young Greens

The Scottish Green Party Society at the University of Edinburgh

“Such clear separation is discrimination. For years campaigners have called for complete equality and it’s time these calls are recognised. If the government wishes Scottish society to progress in a liberated, forward-thinking manner, these barriers between members of our society must be broken down. The Equal Marriage campaign gets to the heart of this issue and we, the Edinburgh Young Greens, put our full support behind it.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Edinburgh University Humanist Society

The Humanist Society aims to establish a positive social environment for UoE students who are rationalists, non-theists (agnostics or atheists), humanists, or skeptics.

“The opposition to the Equal Marriage campaign will come in many forms, but a large proportion will be from religious groups claiming to be protecting family values and tradition. We should no longer tolerate such thinly-veiled prejudice and discrimination, whatever form it takes. These groups call themselves ‘traditionalists’. We call them bigots.” (Support pledged since 2008)

 

 

BLOGS

Edinburgh University LGBT+ Society.

ACSA LGBT

Aberdeen College Students’ Association LGBT society

“AcsaLGBT society has been fighting for the rights for LGBT community ever since it began but its’ members however have been fighting long before, We believe that the world should be free from discrimination of any sort and for the Government to even contemplate on not allowing Same-Sex Marriage in Scotland is discrimination! They purposely set up their own law just to break it! which in our eyes is unacceptable. We want to live in a Scotland which is free and equal for all, they should understand that Love has no gender!”

(Support pledged since 2008)

9. Trade Unions & Civil Society

UNISON Scotland

Europe’s Biggest Public Sector Union with 150,000 members in Scotland

“UNISON Scotland is proud to support the equal marriage campaign. UNISON believes marriage and civil partnership should be open to all couples, irrespective of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. Equal marriage threatens no one – it doesn’t take anything away from anyone. All it does is recognise that Lesbian and gay people are people the same as everybody else”

Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG)

Dedicated to Supporting Parents and Their Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Daughters and Sons.

“You’ve got to be strong to be different, but, when you’ve got love on your side, you’ve got the most valuable gift that there is.” (Support pledged since 2008)

 

Parents Enquiry Scotland

Providing Help, Information and Support for Parents and Families of LGBT Children Across Scotland.

“We support equality for all. This means equal rights for all and not special rights for different groups.” (Support pledged since 2008)

 

GMB Scotland

A membership-based organisation that campaigns for and protects workers’ rights for our 610,000 members.

Individuals

Rt. Hon. Lord George Foulkes

Former Scottish Labour Party MSP for the Lothians

“Equality by its nature is only achieved when all things are equal. The Labour party introduced Civil Partnerships and I’m thrilled to see roughly 30,000 couples benefit from the law recognising their love and commitment. However, the campaign for full LGBT equality goes on and that requires a change to the law which allows same sex couples to marry and mixed couples to enter into civil partnership. That’s why I fully support the Equal Marriage Campaign and encourage all those with a commitment to equality and social justice to do the same.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Robin Harper

Former Green Party MSP for the Lothians

“The world is moving on. Even my Church has come to a view that Christians should be allowed to make lasting vows, whatever their sexual orientation, within the church. I hope that this will be yet one more inexcusable inequality that will end up in the dustbin of history.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Dr Bill Wilson

Former SNP MSP for the West of Scotland

“I am privileged to have a very happy marriage. I want every human being to have the same opportunity. That people should be denied a basic right because of something as fundamental to their identity as sexual orientation is a view I cannot begin to comprehend. Extending the definition of marriage to encompass same-sex partnerships does not, in my opinion, in any way detract from the special nature of that bond and commitment.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Shirley-Anne Somerville

Former SNP MSP for the Lothians

“Civil partnerships were a positive step forward, but while there is continued division of the law into separate systems for same-sex and mixed-sex couples inequality remains enshrined within the system. Equality is one of the founding principles of Scotland’s new parliament and I would like to see Scotland lead the way on this issue.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Margaret Smith

Former Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh West

“As someone who has taken advantage of the Civil Partnership legislation, I know what an incredible difference it has made. As a result, 30,000 gay couples have benefited from the same financial and legal rights as mixed sex married couples enjoy. But while there are two different ways to access those rights there isn’t true equality. While gay people of faith are denied the change to marry in church, there isn’t true equality. I support the Equal Marriage campaign as I never understand why others see a gay couple’s wish to be married as anything other than a validation of the importance of marriage and commitment for couples, for families and for society.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Peter Tatchell

Human rights activist.

“The homophobia of the ban on same-sex marriage is compounded by the heterophobia of the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships. These twin discriminations reinforce and extend inequality. since the gay community has always demanded equal rights, why should we now settle for discrimination? Imagine the outcry there would be if the government reserved marriage for white people and introduced a separate partnership register for black couples. It would rightly provoke accusations of racism and apartheid. Marriage and civil partnerships are a form of sexual apartheid. They enforce separate laws for heterosexuals and homosexuals, perpetuating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.” (Support pledged since 2008)

Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger

Litigants in same-sex marriage case Wilkingson v Kitzinger (2006).

“We welcome the launch of the Equal Marriage campaign in Scotland.  It is an important step towards equality.  A segregated system of marriage for different-sex couples and civil partnerships for same-sex couples is not equality. We hope that the Scottish Government will heed the call for equal rights to marriage and to civil partnership for ALL couples, irrespective of their sexual orientation. True equality demands no less.” (Support pledged since 2008).

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Graeme Morrice MP

Scottish Labour Party MP for Livingston

“I support equality before the law and am supportive of Equal Marriage being introduced throughout the UK.  I hope the Scottish and UK Governments will press ahead with legislation to ensure that loving and committed relationships between people who wish to marry are recognised by the state and society as marriage regardless of gender or sexuality.”