Scottish youth parliament calls for gay marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Scotland’s youth parliament has launched a campaign to urge the government to give gay couples the right to wed.

The Love Equally campaign is seeking full marriage equality and also calls for straight people to be given the right to have civil partnerships.

Yesterday, to launch the drive, youth parliament members Kelley Temple and Eilidh Still posed in wedding dresses outside parliament.

Youth parliament chair Grant Costello said: “The core purpose of the Scottish youth parliament is to involve young people in deciding the future of Scotland.

“The young people of Scotland have told us that two people who love each other should be able to get married and it is now up to us to lobby the government and ask politicians to listen to them and make their voice heard.

“By getting young people to be the messengers, we hope to explain the difference between civil partnerships and marriage via a series of local and national campaign activities. Our message to Scotland is that all laws regarding homosexual relationships, whether male or female, should be equal to those of heterosexual relationships.”

In England and Wales, the UK government has announced plans to hold a consultation on the future of civil partnerships and marriage. As these are devolved issues, the consultation does not apply to Scotland.

However, polls of the Scottish public have shown rising support for allowing gay couples to marry. In 2006, a poll found that 53 per cent of people supported same-sex marriage. In 2009, this figure rose to 62 per cent.

In June, the newly-elected government led by Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party said it would hold a consultation on the issue.

Nicola Sturgeon, deputy leader and minister responsible for equality, said: “We recognise the range of views on same-sex marriage and registration of civil partnerships. We will therefore begin a process of consultation and discussion of these issues as soon as practicable.”