Exclusive: The Proclaimers say ‘it is vital’ that Scotland legalises equal marriage

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Scottish rock band The Proclaimers have urged the Scottish Parliament to back equal marriage in a video recorded as part of the Equality Network’s It’s Time campaign.

The band, composed of twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid, celebrated their 30th anniversary this year with a greatest hits album and a live tour of the UK and North America.

Speaking from rehearsals for the tour Charlie Reid explained: “I support equality, and equality in marriage is part of that. It’s vital that gay people be given the same rights as straight people.”

Craig Reid added: “If you believe in equality, and you know that something is unequal, then you want to do something about it. It’s not doing anybody harm, it’s not lessening rights; it’s extending rights and that’s why we support it. We’re progressive people; we think that Scotland has to move forward, and equal marriage for gay and transgender people is part of that.”

The Proclaimers, originally from Leith, are best known for their hits “Sunshine on Leith”, “I’m On My Way”, “Letter to America” and the much-covered anthem “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”.

The band argue that equal marriage should be allowed because equality is a Scottish tradition, “Equal marriage is a good thing for any country, we look forward to the day that gay marriage is legal in every country in the world. Scotland should be at the forefront of equal rights for everybody, it’s part of our tradition and Scotland has got to take a lead on this.”

On Friday, the Scottish Parliament held its first evidence session on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill; the legislation that could introduce equal marriage in Scotland.

The inquiry into the Bill is being undertaken by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee who will hear evidence from a wide range of stakeholders in the coming weeks, before making recommendations to the Scottish Parliament on whether to proceed with the Bill and, if so, in what form.

Writing for PinkNews, the Equality Network’s Tom French reflected on the first day of evidence heard by the Scottish Parliament , saying it was a promising start to the bill’s journey.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament in June, and the first major vote is likely to take place in November, following initial scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee.

PinkNews has been working with and supporting the Equality Network’s campaign for equal marriage since 2008.