Scottish parliamentary committee votes to remove spousal veto from equal marriage bill

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The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee has voted unanimously to pass an amendment by MSP Linda Fabiani in favour of removing the spousal veto from the country’s equal marriage bill.

The amendment, drafted by the Equality Network and submitted by Scottish National Party MSP Linda Fabiani, will mean that married transgender people in Scotland will no longer be forced to obtain written consent from their spouse before they can get legal recognition of their gender.

Writing for, ahead of the vote, Linda Fabiani said: “I strongly believe that access to legal gender recognition is a human right, and a deeply personal matter, that should not be able to be blocked by another person.”

Of the 10 countries in Europe with equal marriage only England & Wales has a spousal veto on gender recognition.

In August, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Liz Barker expressed regret that the UK Parliament had failed to remove the requirement from the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Stage two of proceedings for Scotland’s equal marriage bill is now complete – the final debate and vote will come in February.

The positive amendments were passed and all the negative amendments, such as allowing opt-outs for registrars, were defeated.