Gay marriage: pressure mounts on Alex Salmond

The SNP’s “baffling decision” to redefine marriage has provoked an “unnecessary controversy” which could hinder independence, an editorial in one of Scotland’s leading papers has warned.

And leading political website politics.co.uk has warned that same-sex marriage is “tearing the party apart”.

The Scottish Government, which is led by the Scottish National Party, has faced widespread opposition to its plans.

Baffling

An editorial in last week’s Scotland on Sunday listed same-sex marriage as one of a number of the SNP’s voter-unfriendly policies.

It concluded that “the baffling decision to provoke an unnecessary controversy over same-sex marriage, which is now clearly a vote-loser, may not do the party any favours if it wants maximum support at the referendum.

“Ideological purity is a luxury of opposition; winning a referendum requires flexibility and compromise.”

Opposed

The Scottish Government’s consultation on the issue closed last December. Two-thirds of the responses were opposed to any change.

More than 31,000 people have signed a petition, organised by Scotland for Marriage, in defence of traditional marriage.

The Government has claimed that amending the Equality Act will protect those who believe in traditional marriage.

But a legal opinion by Aidan O’Neill QC, a leading human rights lawyer, makes clear this won’t be enough.

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