Scottish Parliament recently passed a bill allowing for same-sex couples to be married. This makes Scotland a proud member of states and countries who believe that marriage is all about love.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill received a 105 to 18 vote, a near landslide in favor of the proposal. Officials say that the two main churches of Scotland were opposed to the passing of the bill, but Parliament knew it was “the right thing to do.” Same-sex couples may begin getting married as early as the autumn.
But even with the passing of the bill, officials are aware that some will refuse to uphold its message. Those who feel the bill infringes on their beliefs and practices have the choice to “opt out,” and will not be pressured to perform same-sex marriages.
Reports say the Ministers of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) rejected several amendments to the bill, which would have provided “protection” and amenities to those who opposed the bill. Alex Neal, Health Secretary, informs sources that the bill had already been written in such a way that the rights of the opposition were already protected, and any further amendments of that nature were redundant.
The amendment was passed over by John Mason (SNP), who reinforced Mr Neil’s statement. He said that no one would be “compelled by any means” to officiate a same-sex marriage, or provide any documents therein. This includes legal and contract documents.
This motion follows the same-sex bill passed in the UK, allowing gay couples to marry in England and Wales.
Mr Mason refused several other amendments regarding the bill. One such amendment asked that marriage be officially defined as the union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all other couplings, monogamous or not.
“This has been the prevailing view in Scotland for centuries, and may now be considered a minority view or even old fashioned, but it is an integral tenet of faith for many Christians, Muslims and others as well as the belief of many of no faith position at all,” Mason responded. “We have seen volunteers in the third sector removed from the board for publicly supporting traditional marriage.”
The bill was passed in an open vote among the MSPs, melting party lines in honor of this momentous, historical change.
But for every supporter, there are those who stand against the change. The Scottish Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland stand on the other side of the line, saying that they will not perform a ceremony between anyone other than a man and a woman.
March 29, 2014 will mark the first official same-sex marriage in Wales and England.
You may find a full list of the key measures of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill here.
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