Veteran SNP activist quits over gay marriage row

A former Scottish National Party (SNP) councillor has resigned from the party after nearly half a century because of its plans to redefine marriage.

Last week Robert Stewart, another veteran activist, quit the party and branded the leadership’s decision to push ahead with same-sex marriage “undemocratic”.

Now Liz Fordyce, who sat on Dundee City Council for 13 years and chaired the Dundee East constituency branch, has quit.

Opposed

The 67-year-old criticized the party for ignoring the official consultation on the issue, and cast doubt on assurances that religious liberty would be protected.

Mrs Fordyce, a party member for 46 years, said: “There was a consultation on this issue. Over 70,000 people responded and the majority opposed gay marriage. How is this democracy?”

The Roman Catholic added: “It’s ludicrous if anyone seriously thinks priests, rabbis, ministers and other religious leaders will be able to say no to this.

Vulnerable

“They might tell people they can’t get married in their church, but what happens when European law kicks in? Leaders of all denominations are being left very vulnerable to persecution here.”

A spokesman for the party said: “Liz Fordyce has strong views on the issue and we respect her decision.”

Robert Stewart, 66, was a member of the SNP for 22 years. Until recently he was the secretary of the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency association.

Resigned

But last Thursday it emerged that he had resigned having been dismayed by the party’s decision to press ahead with changing the law on marriage.

The SNP-led Scottish Government revealed in July that it intends to push ahead with plans to redefine marriage. It claims that amending the Equality Act will protect those who believe in traditional marriage.

But a legal opinion by Aidan O’Neill QC, a leading human rights lawyer, makes clear this won’t be enough.

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