Scots Cabinet delays gay marriage announcement

The Scottish Government has once again delayed an announcement on whether it plans to redefine marriage.

The Government, led by the Scottish National Party, had been expected to announce its decision following a cabinet meeting this afternoon.

After the meeting the Government said that an announcement would be pushed back to later this month.

Unravel

However, they did announce that they have rejected a referendum on the question.

A spokesman for Scotland for Marriage said: “We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is taking more time to reflect upon the gravity of the decision which they are preparing to take.

“We hope the Scottish Government will continue to be informed by legal advice which confirms that redefining marriage will unravel hundreds of years of matrimonial law, creating legal and cultural chaos across Scotland.

“No amount of delays can get away from the fact that the Scottish Government must confront those big issues.”

Against

The Government’s consultation on the issue closed in December after receiving 77,000 responses. Reports indicate that these are 2:1 against any change.

Earlier this week Scotland’s top Roman Catholic called for the same-sex marriage plans to be put to the Scottish people in a referendum.

But a statement released by the Government after today’s meeting said: “During the discussion, recent calls for a referendum on the subject were carefully considered. However, Cabinet views this as an issue of conscience not constitution.

Decision

“Given that if a Bill is brought forward it should in the view of the Scottish Government be determined by a free vote, Cabinet has concluded that a referendum would not be appropriate.

“Cabinet has now asked a Cabinet sub-committee, led by the Deputy First Minister, to further examine some particular issues of detail before a final decision is reached.”

Delay

Tom French, of the Equality Network, said: “It is time the Scottish Government demonstrated its leadership on this issue and announced a decision.”

He added: “The Government have had seven months to analyse the consultation responses and to deal with the detail. We cannot understand why there is any need for further delay.”

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