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Scotland poised to legalize same-sex marriage with final vote this week

Sunday, February 2, 2014

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scotland’s could see its first same-sex marriages by July, as a bill to legalize marriage equality is expected to be passed overwhelmingly by Members of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill will legalize civil and religious same-sex marriages, with an “opt-in” procedure for faiths and celebrants willing to conduct ceremonies and legal protection for those who object.

It also relaxes the rules on where civil marriages can take place, and establishes non-religious or “belief” marriage ceremonies.

Tuesday marks the third and final stage of the same-sex marriage bill in parliament. The bill was approved in principle in November, when 98 voted in favor, 15 objected and five abstained, suggesting overwhelming support this week.

The Herald Scotland reports that putting it into effect will require help from the UK Government, as equality law reserved to Westminster must also be amended to ensure Scottish celebrants cannot be forced to conduct ceremonies against their will.

As British MPs legalized same-sex marriages in England and Wales last year, observers say it should be relatively simple and uncontroversial to amend the law for Scotland.

A recent poll found a majority of Scotland’s population, 56 percent, support the legislation and marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The marriage equality law in England and Wales comes into effect on March 29.

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54 more reader comments:

  1. Garrett Piersa

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:06pm
  2. ♥♥♥♥

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:06pm
  3. Too bad Indiana is so backward. Will we ever be equal?

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:06pm
  4. You are already equal. It's just the law that has to be brought up to date.

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 9:29pm
  5. Thanks. I will hold that in my thoughts, Thanks.

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 9:31pm
  6. While all men are created equal it has been a 200 year struggle to secure the blessings of liberty.

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:12am
  7. Presbyterian Scotland, for God’s sake. Come on “red states”: get it. It’s about love, not your hate.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:07pm
  8. So excited.for Scotland! Maybe I can get married to my lady in my family’s castle now :)

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:09pm
  9. How beautiful I hope you do!

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:31pm
  10. sweet!!!! I love castles, never seen one though, probably never will!!! Congrats and well wishes :)

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:12pm
  11. WOOHOO! Its about time! The country of my ancestors really needs to update its profile!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:11pm
  12. <3

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:12pm
  13. Proud of my country! :)

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:14pm
  14. yay Scotland!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:16pm
  15. Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:16pm
  16. Great Scots! :D

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:16pm
  17. Fantastic xx

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:18pm
  18. They’re still behind England, it’s already been passed into law.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:18pm
  19. Scotland can legislate on marriage without England's say, the consultation process in Scotland has been longer, hence why it has waited until now. :)

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:00pm
  20. We may be behind England in terms of time scale, but the legislation due to be voted on in Scotland is far more progressive than the law in England, or indeed many other countries in the world.

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:03pm
  21. <3

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:25pm
  22. Woo hoo…now wee Robi Frazier can get married in Scotland!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:27pm
  23. bottoms up!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:33pm
  24. and tops too !

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:12am
  25. About fucking time

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:34pm
  26. here’s to equality n to kilts

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:36pm
  27. Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:39pm
  28. Good on ya Scotland :-) do the right thing in your final vote :-)

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:56pm
  29. Pop them kilts up laddys and show that hot scottish pride

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:08pm
  30. Way to go Scotland.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:09pm
  31. Over The Rainbow A new Community of love and acceptance!!! Come join our Zero judgment Family ….. EVERYONE Welcome <3

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:15pm
  32. Have family there in argyle scotland. Family creast is a top 5 amongst clans colors and crest are part of scotish royal familys so the crest says sweeter after difficulty is are motto. Far as me and family in stats 6th gen removed but blood still strong

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:15pm
  33. yess do it I triple dare you

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:17pm
  34. Well fuck me, it’s about time

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:25pm
  35. proud to be of scottish descent!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:29pm
  36. Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:30pm
  37. (y)

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:30pm
  38. I fully suport scotland in this or i cant call my self a scotsmen evan if im american scotish i fully say yaaa yaa .had family in house a james fergusson known.only as the member. Was said to have spoken but once his hole time in office. One story goes.is that he simply rose to move that a wondow be mended.due to a draft. That was causeing him discomfurt anouther .was that after 25years silent he rose to speek on sum subjectwhen some opponent bgan to shout here.here befot he said aney thing he said .ill be damed if u do.replyd the irate scottsmen sat down.and.never said a thing again.year ?

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:33pm
  39. Anouther was an astronomer and inventer.and anouthe was a navil captin named black jack ferguson in 1746

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:37pm
  40. He was so hated by all the outher captins that thay objectly gave him the tital after catching a bonnie prince charlie.flora macdonald and lord lovat

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:41pm
  41. Bravo Scotland.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:47pm
  42. Family go to dunfallandy. Atholl .argyll raith.cowel.kintyre.aberdeenshire.ayrshire.fife.galloway.fergus.duncun son of gilbert son of fergus married a doughter of henery the first in from 1160-1215 became earl of carrick and there for a direct ancester to king robert the bruce proof of royal blood that runs in my vains

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:55pm
  43. Praise the godess for scottland ya ya ya heeya

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:57pm
  44. I might have to deny my heritage. It is immoral and wrong.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 7:00pm
  45. Scotland gets it how come America can’t? XD

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 7:27pm
  46. I knew I was proud to be a Scot.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 7:33pm
  47. Wonderful!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 8:02pm
  48. Do it.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 8:14pm
  49. Great News, Good Luck Guys from Oz :) xoxox

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 8:37pm
  50. Love me a KILT!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:20pm
  51. Once the land of the most dour and repressive Presbyterian Christians – why is the USA having a problem with this?

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:11am
  52. Great effin’ news!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:18am
  53. I ❤️ Scotland

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:52am
  54. World Wide!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 2:44am