Students lobby MSPs as accuracy of marriage opponents’ petition is questioned

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

While students from around Scotland have written 400 letters to their MSPs in support of equal marriage, others are questioning how their signatures appeared on the opponents’ petition.

Over 400 students’ letters in favour of marriage equality were delivered by the Liberal Democrats’ youth wing, Liberal Youth Scotland, to their Members of Parliament after the public consultation on the issue ended last week, with a total of 50,000 responses.

LYS President Sophie Bridger said: “Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. It’s a matter of simple human fairness.

“The hundreds of young people who’ve joined our campaign to write to MSPs show that the future is bright for LGBT people in Scotland.

“MSPs need to show courage in the face of scaremongering and stand up for what’s right.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Will Rennie congratulated the campaign, saying: “I want Scotland to be one of the most fair and progressive places in the world. Extending marriage equality to all is a really important part of that.

“I look forward to working constructively with the all the groups involved who want to see this change in Scotland as we enter the next stage of the debate.”

But meanwhile, the Edinburgh Evening News reports that some gay marriage supporters have been alarmed to see their names on the opposing side’s petitions.

Scotland for Marriage has so far collected 9,000 signatures during its online campaign.

But 27 students said their names were added to the list, without their knowledge, apparently from the same computer.

The movement, which opposes the extension of marriage rights to gays, said it had been targeted by “malicious individuals” who uploaded “obscene names, anti-Roman Catholic sentiment, pretty nasty stuff”, and that it would remove the names of people who had been signed up without their permission.

However, one student said the petition had been “totally discredited” and should be ignored.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s 70 largest evangelical churches will deliver a letter to Alex Salmond today opposing equal marriage rights for gay couples.