MSP: Parliament ‘out of touch’ over gay marriage

The Scottish Parliament will be ignoring public opinion if it votes for gay marriage tonight, an MSP has said.

And a group of MSPs has raised concerns about the lack of safeguards for civil liberty and freedom of speech in the Bill, which is expected to pass to the next stage.

John Mason, who has previously spoken out against redefining marriage in Scotland, said: “The parliament is not reflecting the views of the public.”

Public

He added: “Parliament is out of line with what the public thinks.”

The Scottish Government’s own consultation on same-sex marriage showed two-thirds of respondents were against the move.

An editorial in the Scottish Mail on Sunday said majority support for the Bill from MSPs highlights the “gulf” between politicians and the general public.

Vote

Stage one of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill takes place tonight, when the whole Scottish Parliament are to vote for the first time on the general principles of the proposals.

The Equal Opportunities Committee allowed the Bill to pass to this stage, but a significant minority were unconvinced by the legislation as a whole or were troubled by the lack of adequate protections.

Campaign group Scotland for Marriage said: “Real safeguards 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.”

More than 53,000 people have signed the group’s petition to keep marriage as it is in Scotland.

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