Final push for Scotland’s equal marriage consultation ahead of 5pm deadline

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The public consultation on equal marriage legislation in Scotland closes today at 5pm, and LGBT campaign group the Equality Network are reminding people to fill in the document by going to its website.

Tom French, policy co-ordinator for the Equality Network, said: “With time running out, it is vital that we encourage people to speak up for LGBT equality by responding to the consultation on Scotland’s equal marriage bill.

“Opponents of LGBT equality are running a very well-funded campaign to block same-sex marriage and roll back LGBT equality in other areas. If people want a progressive bill that stands up for equality, it is crucial that they make their voice heard now.”

Following the consultation the Scottish Government will make any changes to their proposals before introducing a final version of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament in the summer.

The Equality Network said that in particular they are working to lift the ban on mixed-sex civil partnerships and improve the gender recognition process for transgender people amongst other changes they would like to see made in Scotland.

Two-thirds of MSPs have now signed the Equality Network’s ‘Equal Marriage Pledge’ committing themselves to voting in favour of same-sex marriage.

Signatories include SNP First Minister Alex Salmond, all cabinet secretaries, and the leaders of all four opposition parties. Whilst 87 MSPs have now said they will vote in favour, 11 remain publicly opposed.

Last September, Mr Salmond welcomed the arrival of the policy in Scotland’s legislative agenda by saying: “We are making it absolutely clear that no Christian church or any domination for that matter, or any religion, or practitioner, or celebrant will be forced to take part in any such marriage, it will just mean people will have equality before the law.”

The 14-week draft bill consultation has run from Wednesday, 12 December 2012 to Wednesday, 20 March 2013.