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Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats

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Scotland votes for equal marriage - by a massive majority

February 5, 2014 9:53 AM
By Toby Keynes, Chair, HSLD

Yesterday, Tuesday 4th February 2014, the Scottish Parliament voted the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill (Scotland) into law, by a massive majority of 105 to 18.

The first same-sex marriages in Scotland can now take place this autumn.

We're proud that every single one of our MSPs - Jim Hume, Liam McArthur, Alison McInnes, Willie Rennie and Tavish Scott - voted for the bill.

Labour (33 to 2) and the SNP (56 to 7) were also strongly in support, with only the Conservatives voting narrowly against (7 to 8).

As you might expect, the two major faith institutions, the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Catholic Church, opposed the bill, but it had the support of Humanist Society Scotland, which already marries more Scottish couples than the Scottish Catholic Church, as well as quakers, buddhists and the Pagan Federation.

With the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church refusing to marry same-sex couples, Humanist Society Scotland looks set to marry more same-sex couples than any other belief institution in Scotland, cementing its position at the heart of Scottish family life.

Scotland may be a little behind England and Wales in legalising equal marriage, but it's well ahead on humanist marriage ceremonies.

Later this year, England and Wales will see a government consultation on legal recognition of humanist marriages, with a report by next January.