The report on the Scottish Government's consultation on equal marriage will be published in the first half of 2012. All submissions to it will be considered.
You can now email your MSPs from the Equal Marriage
website. Please let them know your support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland and that you want them to support lifting the discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage.
The Scottish Parliament goes into recess from lunchtime Thursday 23rd December 2011 to Monday 9th January 2012
. You can still email your MSP during recess, but it's probably more effective to email them before Parliament takes the midwinter break.
The Equality Network's consultation response is here (PDF
). You are welcome to use or quote from any part of it.
We hope the thousands of people who responded to the consultation - at least 24,000 supporters of equal marriage - will also confirm to their MSPs that they want:
- A change in the law to allow same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership.
- Support for freedom of religion and belief by allowing, but not requiring, religious and Humanist bodies to conduct same-sex marriages.
- An end to the requirement for transgender people to divorce before a full Gender Recognition Certificate can be issued.
Stonewall Scotland has also launched a campaign to send postcards to every MSP urging them to support equal marriage. One hundred thousand cards with the legends ‘Different Couples. Same Love’ and ‘People are People. Marriage is Marriage’ are being distributed across Scotland. The campaign is funded by Stonewall Scotland donors from around the country. Postcards are available from Stonewall Scotland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seventeen faith groups and twenty-four religious leaders have written to First Minister Alex Salmond demanding assurances that Scottish Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage will respect the religious freedom. They warn the First Minister that they would "strongly oppose" any attempt to restrict same-sex marriage to purely civil ceremonies, and seek a "firm assurance from the Scottish Government that any proposed legislation will allow those religious and humanist bodies that want to conduct same-sex marriages to do so."
The signatories to the letter include: Bishop Richard Holloway, Former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Roddy Macpherson, President of the Scottish Unitarian Association, Phil Lucas of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Scotland., Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu and Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Chairs of the Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Mark L Solomon and the Rabbi for Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community. (Pink Paper
In other news:
The "Scotland for Marriage" campaign was running a petition on their website, which is still live. It has been definitely confirmed that at least 27 signatures on the "Scotland for Marriage" petition were false, and the "Scotland for Marriage" campaign have removed them. From first-hand reports from people whose names and email addresses were used, the "Scotland for Marriage" petition does not automatically confirm the signatures by email.
Kezia Dugdale MSP was quoted by the Press and Journal saying that "the online Scotland for Marriage petition appeared to be fraudulent because the names of gay wedding supporters had been added." and that "she had been contacted by people who are furious their names have been added and some have contacted the police and the information commissioner." Ms Dugdale has written to health secretary Nicola Sturgeon to ask her to “discount” the 9,045 names on the "Scotland for Marriage" petition. (By late afternoon on Thursday 15th December, the number of signatures had fallen to 9001.) The UK Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed it had received a series of complaints.
If you have reason to believe your name has appeared on the petition in error, email Tom French (email@example.com).