Scots Cabinet to discuss gay marriage on 10 July
Wed, 27 Jun 2012
Scottish Cabinet ministers will meet in two weeks time to discuss the enormous response to its public consultation on redefining marriage.
Press reports speculate that they will also make a final decision about whether to take forward, or drop, the highly controversial idea.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “With 77,000 responses in total there has been some further work necessary, so the consultation will be discussed at cabinet in two weeks’ time.”
The issue is highly controversial and it has generated the largest ever response to a public consultation since Scottish devolution.
It dwarfs the number of responses to the consultation on a referendum for Scottish independence, which only attracted 21,000 responses.
It is understood that about 50,000 of the 77,000 responses to the gay marriage consultation are opposed to marriage being redefined.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has said he personally supported the idea, but he did not want opponents to “feel ignored”.
He added: “You can uphold great points of principle and wreck it all by having an inadequate process.
“I am determined in Scotland to have a debate which is worthy of the seriousness of the subject.
“But also people can have confidence in that their voice is entitled to be heard and has been heard as the process unfolds.”
Scotland for Marriage has been a leading opponent of the plans. Opposition has also come from the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, and other churches.
Ahead of the local elections in May, Glasgow’s top Imams told all Scottish Muslims not to vote for any candidate who supported the redefinition of marriage.
And the Scotland for Marriage group leafleted every house in the city, asking voters to find out where candidates stood on the issue.
But supporters of the measure say that most MSPs would vote in favour of redefining marriage if it came to a vote in the Scottish Parliament.
The leaders of all the main political parties in Scotland say they personally support introducing gay marriage.