Scotland: 50,000 sign petition against redefining marriage

Tue, 27 Aug 2013

A petition against plans to redefine marriage in Scotland has reached more than 50,000 signatures.

The organisers of the petition, campaign group Scotland for Marriage, say they have more supporters than the combined paid-up membership of all the main political parties in Scotland.

The 50,000th signatory is 20-year-old Iain Donoghue, a third-year student from Falkirk.

Unnecessary

He said: “I feel that it is entirely unnecessary to change the existing law. Marriage is between one man and one woman to the exclusion of others with a view to the procreation of children.”

He added: “The opinion polls are very clear on the issue and show widespread support for the existing law and suggest that two-thirds of people are in favour of maintaining the status quo.”

A Scotland for Marriage spokesman said the group intends to put pressure on politicians about the plans.

Activists

He said: “We have activists present in every one of the 73 Holyrood constituencies and we will put individual MSPs on the spot using local voters to urge them to vote against changes in the law.”

Scotland for Marriage has argued that the Government’s plans will endanger civil liberties, including those of teachers who do not want to promote same-sex marriage.

The Free Church of Scotland recently called for a conscience clause to be included within the Bill that is similar to abortion legislation which protects medical staff who oppose the procedure.

Protected

They said that although individual celebrants are said to be protected under the plans, there is a “lack of clarity from the Scottish Government on how this legislation will affect individuals who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman”.

The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee closed its call for evidence on the gay marriage Bill on Friday.

People were encouraged to submit their views on issues relating to the legislation including free speech.

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