Exclusive: Scottish Green Party leader says ‘It’s Time’ for MSPs to back equal marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

In a video recorded in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square for the Equality Network’s It’s Time campaign, Scottish Green Party Co-Convenor Patrick Harvie MSP has urged Scotland to follow England and Wales in legalising equal marriage.

Mr Harvie, who is openly bisexual, has supported LGBT equality in Scotland since he was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2003. He has also been convener of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Human Rights, and helped to establish a CPG on Sexual Health.

Speaking as the latest party leader in Scotland to voice support for equal marriage, he said: “The last 30 years or so have seen incredible progress towards equality for LGBT people in Scotland, but there’s still one outstanding issue – the inequality between marriage and civil partnership – the idea that these signify a different moral and social status in our society”.

He added: “That has to be got rid of, and it’s time to give equal choice to everybody, allowing all families to register their relationships with the State on equal terms in the way that they choose.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing a strong majority in the Scottish Parliament for equal marriage.”

During the debate on civil partnerships Mr Harvie joined with the Equality Network in calling for full marriage equality and mixed-sex civil partnerships. He was also one of the first MSPs to sign the charity’s Equal Marriage Pledge in 2008.

The Daily Mail once described the Green Party Leader as “the voice of the irresponsible left-led, anti-family, anti-Christian, gay whales against the bomb coalition”, which he says made his mother very proud.

Mr Harvie has urged supporters of equal marriage to keep up lobbying MSPs, and has warned that opponents of equality are not likely to give in easily.

He said: “Even now when we’re confident that there’s strong cross-party support, it’s really important that MSPs from all political parties hear the support that there is in Scotland.

“The opposition to equal marriage – to our equal dignity and status in society – is vocal and it’s not going to go away.

“It’s really important that MSPs hear that there is a great groundswell of support among the Scottish public for equality. So please keep pestering, getting in touch, and supporting those MSPs who have already come out to say they’ll support equal marriage.”

Breakfast TV star Lorraine Kellythe leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Hollywood actor Alan Cumming, and former Scottish Socialist Party MSP Colin Fox have all recorded videos for the Equality Network’s It’s Time campaign.

The campaign is modelled on PinkNews’ Out4Marriage campaign.