SNP considers plan to buy off concerns over gay marriage

The Scottish Government is considering redefining marriage but barring same-sex ceremonies from religious settings, media reports have suggested.

Earlier this month the SNP Government closed its consultation on its plan to rewrite the definition of marriage. It received tens of thousands of responses.

But at the weekend allegations emerged that the SNP is exploring how it could change the law to facilitate same-sex marriage.

Rewrite

The proposal, detailed by Scotland on Sunday, has been seen as an attempt to offer assurances to faith groups concerned about attempts to rewrite the definition of marriage. But the plan still involves the redefinition of marriage, something which no mainstream church group accepts.

A spokesman for Scotland for Marriage, a group campaigning to preserve the traditional definition of marriage, said: “Marriage is between one man and one woman.

“We draw on a well-researched evidence base which shows that, although death and divorce may prevent it, children do best when raised by their married mother and father.”

Foundation

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said that the reports are “without foundation”, but refused to comment on whether the idea had been ruled out.

He added: “All views and opinions are being carefully listened to and we will take time to properly consider all of the responses to the consultation.”

Tom French, policy coordinator for the Equality Network, said that they would oppose any plan to place restrictions on same-sex marriage.

Opposition

The Scottish Government’s plans to redefine marriage have encountered widespread opposition.

The Church of Scotland, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church are all opposed to the move.

Last week the leaders of some of Scotland’s largest evangelical churches handed a letter to the Scottish Government calling for Alex Slamond to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

Mosque

The petition was signed by leaders from over 70 evangelical churches, representing more than 20,000 people.

Last month it also emerged that the leader of Scotland’s largest mosque – Glasgow Central Mosque – had written to Alex Salmond urging him to think again.

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