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United Kingdom

Scottish Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Dan LittauerMarriage equality supporters celebrate the Scottish Parliament vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Scotland.

Equality Network
Marriage equality supporters celebrate the Scottish Parliament vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Scotland.

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scotland becomes the 17th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill by an overwhelming majority.

105 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted in favor, 18 objected and 0 abstained.

Five last minute amendments putting limits on the Marriage Equality bill, by Christian MSP John Mason, were rejected.

Secretary for Health and Well Being, Alex Neil, stated during the vote: “Scotland is a nation that cherishes love. I commend this bill to the chamber, and invite MSPs to support it.”

The first same-sex marriages are now expected to take place later this year after the Scottish Government pledged to speed up the implementation of the Bill.

Originally, the first ceremonies were not expected until spring 2015 because of the time needed to pass secondary legislation and fully implement the Bill, but in a video message to marriage equality supporters, Neil pledged to “work with our Westminster colleagues to make it happen as quickly as possible.”

Unlike in England and Wales, Scotland will allow humanists marriage ceremonies.

The Church of Scotland will not automatically be banned from solemnizing same-sex marriages, which is also in contrast to the ban on the Church of England in the rest of the United Kingdom.

All faiths will be allowed to solemnizing same-sex marriages, or opt out if they so wish.

The Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian Churches of Scotland have already stated they will not sanction their clergy to marry same-sex couples.

“Today will be remembered in history as the day that lesbian, gay and bisexual people were finally granted full legal equality in Scotland, and given an equal right to marry the person they love,” said said Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, a Scottish LGBT advocacy group.

“This is a profoundly emotional moment for many people who grew up in a country where being gay was still a criminal offense until 1980. Scotland can be proud that we now have one of the most progressive equal marriage bills in the world, and that we’ve sent out a strong message about the kind of country we are,” said French.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Proud to have voted for equal marriage. Scotland is a better place tonight.”

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117 more reader comments:

  1. Yay Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:36pm
  2. because this is what i do when shitheads fuck over good people.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:36pm
  3. My Scottish roots just made me even prouder. .ツ

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:37pm
  4. From what I heard….the Independence vote is loosing out because all the facts about it have fallen..

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:37pm
  5. Thank God :))))

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:37pm
  6. nyet! nyet! nyet!….i mean YES! YES! YES! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:37pm
  7. I am only 1/4 Scottish, but I am even more proud of that 1/4th today!! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:37pm
  8. Not a Scot, just a big scot fan and
    holy shit london you fucking Pigs
    get a Real job!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:38pm
  9. HUZZAH!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:38pm
  10. Lovely!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:38pm
  11. Yea!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:38pm
  12. Fantastic news

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:38pm
  13. WTG Scotland !

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:38pm
  14. You go Scotland

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:39pm
  15. What rattled your cage?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:39pm
  16. uh, lying parasites? is that so difficult to oppose?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:39pm
  17. Scotland is not a country, still, good news.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:40pm
  18. ;) Welcome after :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:41pm
  19. a comment comes to mind but I will desist..lol…but I am a FERGUSON…way to GO Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:43pm
  20. Proud to be a Campbell today! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:43pm
  21. time to get fitted for a white kilt, I say. what what

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:43pm
  22. I thought they already had equal marriage

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:44pm
  23. I love Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:44pm
  24. Beautiful, Scotland. Now, the rest of the world.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:44pm
  25. yayyyyyyyyyy <3

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:44pm
  26. Gente aqui no Brasil um deputado chamado Bolsonario ontem a noite em rede nacional no canal programa de Luciana Gimenez dice que e para os pais baterem nos meninos que forem homosexuais para aprenderem a ser homens!!!!! nao podemos aceitar isso!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  27. HUMAN MARRIAGE!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  28. sos!!! sos!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  29. Theyre better than the U.S.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  30. <3 Congrats! <3 I wish the USA would leagalize it through out our country and not state to state... <3

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  31. Ayee :P

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  32. Farzan Safavi

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:45pm
  33. Let’s all wear kilts in celebration

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:46pm
  34. Congrats Scotland! :D

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:47pm
  35. Yay! More kilted wedding pictures!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:48pm
  36. Way to Go :) x

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:48pm
  37. way 2 go Scotland

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:49pm
  38. WOOHOO! Way to go Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:49pm
  39. fuck nationalism

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:50pm
  40. congratulations

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:50pm
  41. Very proud of my other home country today – dead pure brilliant :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:50pm
  42. parasitism versus nationalism is pretty obvious imo

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:50pm
  43. Well done.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:53pm
  44. Yay! Good job, Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:53pm
  45. Great Scot!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:53pm
  46. YAY, Scotland!!!! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:54pm
  47. Makes my 1/8th Scottish blood happy.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:55pm
  48. Lets see what the Kirk makes of that!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:57pm
  49. Yay!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:00pm
  50. I ❤️Scotland

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:01pm
  51. Time to move! ♡♥♡ ······ BOYCOTT SOCHI! Stop LGBT Violence! Networks & Sponsors BOYCOTT! Gay or straight show your support. Rock a pink triangle profile pic. See my page for info. Or email pic to SochiBoycott2014@yahoo.com BOYCOTT now through February.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:02pm
  52. Yayyy!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:03pm
  53. Brilliant!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:05pm
  54. Scotland Forever!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:06pm
  55. Good for all! Thank you, Scotland for doing what’s fair and just.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:07pm
  56. Yay, they deserved

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:07pm
  57. Welcome aboard Scotland. Very progressive indeed.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:10pm
  58. yaaaaay

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:11pm
  59. Fantastic. Now if Australia would just follow suit.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:12pm
  60. Congrats Scotland!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:15pm
  61. Fuck no!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:15pm
  62. very cool!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:15pm
  63. Go Scotland!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:18pm
  64. I do think I said I am no scot. Whether Scots want to be
    oh god london is such obvious lying parasites
    want to be
    ugh. i am trying not to bias this

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  65. FREE

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  66. there. i said it

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  67. Well, that is THEIR Choice!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  68. great news yay for Scotland!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  69. Glasgow University was flying the rainbow flag all day.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  70. Step by step………;-)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:23pm
  71. SWEET

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:24pm
  72. Stupid politicians should have never banned it, those fuxkers.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:25pm
  73. Yahoo

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:27pm
  74. Whoo hoo!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:27pm
  75. yay to bad I’m engaged! I love a good scott!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:28pm
  76. Congrats to Scotland from the U.S.!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:30pm
  77. Wish Arkansas would legalize

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:33pm
  78. proud to be of scottish descent!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:35pm
  79. Yay! Thanks for posting this stuff, I get so much info from u guys!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:37pm
  80. Ok people, let’s calm down, whether you are a nationalist or unionist it does not matter at this present moment in time, we should all be happy at the fact that equality has prevailed in yet another country :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:38pm
  81. well move to Scotland then , This is America we vote and do not want this.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:40pm
  82. Maybe you don't but if America was to take a vote it is shown that the majority of Americans would support equality. You're part of the losing minority. ;)

    Replied on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:33pm
  83. Good for them! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:47pm
  84. I thought it was already legal in Britain? Congratulations Scotland! Love is love.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:48pm
  85. Meal do Naidheachd!! (Congratulations in Scottish Gaelic)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:53pm
  86. GO Scotland!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:56pm
  87. Take the hint, US.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:56pm
  88. Congrats !! Wish the USA would do the same !! Peace , love for all

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:57pm
  89. That is awesome:) You go Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:01pm
  90. WOW that’s awesome :D

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:03pm
  91. Dykes are.mean and gays are to nice there.i said it

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:23pm
  92. Yet another destination for a destination wedding!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:29pm
  93. Way to go Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:34pm
  94. very nice way to go Scotland

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:46pm
  95. If Gay marriage isn’t Scottish, IT’S CRAP!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:49pm
  96. Kilt-on-kilt weddings incoming.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:50pm
  97. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:53pm
  98. Gay marriage in the land of my ancestors AWESOME!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:57pm
  99. Comhghairdeas libh, Alba!! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:01pm
  100. Awesome!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:08pm
  101. Awesome news!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:13pm
  102. hell to the ya hoka hey my scottish sisters and brothers!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:13pm
  103. Yay Scotland!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:19pm
  104. Scotland takes the high road!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:20pm
  105. what..only straight guys can wear the skirt?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:32pm
  106. yay

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:45pm
  107. Nicely done Scotland!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:55pm
  108. And we win again!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:55pm
  109. Today I am very proud to be Scottish.B-)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:13pm
  110. wow! they really ARE “Scotland The Brave”!! LOL – good on you!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:24pm
  111. Thank you ,Scotland ! Now,towards independence !

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:25pm
  112. Very nice!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:27pm
  113. Yeah! !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:27pm
  114. Congrats and lots of love from your brothers and sisters in USA

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:33pm
  115. Today Scotland, tomorrow the world!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:34pm
  116. Just as important is regarding those who want support/donations for public office they first need to publicly support the bipartisan issue of recognizing the last sixty plus years of the abusive application of the state secrets privilege doctrine and related doctrine and policy abuses and then supporting legislation to make it far more difficult and onerous to continue this abuse. In a small part like this federal legislative session’s bills H.R. 3361/S.1599.
    That being said, my own conclusion is that contrary to every executive branch since WWII, the shadow pedophile component of the intelligence gathering operations and other tax payer/rate payer funded abusive actions should not be cloaked or protected by the iron curtain called the state secrets privilege doctrine and related doctrines and policies.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:37pm
  117. Yay humanity

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:46pm