Gay marriage safeguards ‘not adequate’ say MSPs

Scotland’s gay marriage Bill doesn’t do enough to protect the civil liberties of people who believe in traditional marriage, some MSPs say.

The Equal Opportunities Committee at the Scottish Parliament allowed the Bill to pass to the next stage, but a significant minority raised strong concerns.

Some MSPs on the committee were not convinced by the Bill on principle, and some were troubled that it lacked adequate protections.

Safeguards

A spokesman for campaign group Scotland for Marriage said: “The Scottish Government’s promise of sufficient safeguards has been shown to be hollow.

“Real safeguards set out in amendments to the legislation are required to protect the rights and civil liberties of the majority of Scots who don’t support this law.

“No one who supports the law as it stands should be discriminated against. At home in the workplace and in schools, declaring a belief in traditional marriage should always be permitted and respected.”

Freedom

Labour MSP Margaret McCulloch, the convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee, said: “All of us on the committee recognise the validity, depth and sincerity of all views submitted to us on what has clearly been an emotive issue.”

She added: “While the majority of our committee supports the general principles of this bill, we wholeheartedly support the right of all members of the Scottish Parliament to vote on the bill as a matter of conscience.”

The legislation needs to pass three stages of voting at parliament before becoming law.

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