SNP official quits over gay marriage

Wed, 23 Jan 2013

An official from the Scottish National Party has resigned, citing as one of his reasons Alex Salmond’s plans to redefine marriage.

Andrew Walker, who was the secretary of a local SNP branch in the Western Isles, said the Scottish Government had ignored “the views of the majority” on the issue.

The Government is pressing ahead with the plans even though two thirds of people in an official consultation were against the idea.

Resign

Mr Walker’s decision to resign – and cancel his membership of the SNP – was also made in light of disagreements over other national and local party policies.

His move comes just months after two other party activists left the SNP over its controversial plans on same-sex marriage.

In August SNP activist Robert Stewart resigned, and branded the leadership “undemocratic” over its plans to redefine marriage.

Quit

Mr Stewart, an SNP member for 22 years, said: “The announcement to proceed with changing the law was on the same day that the result of the consultation was announced with 64 per cent of Scots who responded indicating they were against a change in the law – 77,508 people responded to the consultation, three times the number who gave their views on the independence referendum.”

And Liz Fordyce, who sat on Dundee City Council for 13 years and chaired the Dundee East constituency branch, also quit the SNP in August over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Broken

Scotland for Marriage, a campaign group against the plans, has said Alex Salmond has broken promises over the issue.

The First Minister made assurances to traditional marriage supporters that the draft same-sex marriage Bill – which was unveiled last month – would provide protections for freedom of speech and conscience.

But the campaign group said although there has been “some movement” on freedom of speech, key concerns had been ignored.

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