Scottish Lib Dem leader urges Scotland to follow England’s lead on equal marriage

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Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has urged the Scottish Government to press ahead with plans to introduce equal marriage in light of last night’s vote at Westminster.

Mr Rennie said: “Modern, progressive nations are increasingly endorsing equal marriage as the change respects people who wish to commit to each other. How we treat each other is tremendously important and a mark of a nation’s maturity.

“The House of Commons has led the way on this change and have signalled their determination for equal marriage to be introduced into law. There are only a few remaining stages through the House of Lords to complete that process.

“It’s important that Scotland isn’t left behind. The Scottish Government should now set a clear timetable for the introduction of equal marriage into Scottish law so that gay people in Scotland can enjoy the same rights as those in the rest of the UK.”

He added: “I would urge the Scottish Government to make their intentions clear.”

On Wednesday evening, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales passed its third reading in the House of Commons – securing a Commons majority of 205.

The bill now goes before the House of Lords and will be debated by peers after the half-term recess.

It receives its second reading in the Lords on Monday 3 June.

A bill to legalise marriage for same-sex couples in Scotland was formally unveiled by SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond last September.

Following a recent public consultation, the Scottish Government will introduce a final version of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament later this summer.