Scots Tory leader under fire over gay marriage pledge

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is facing a backlash after she controversially signed a pledge calling for the redefinition of marriage.

Earlier this week Miss Davidson joined the leaders of Holyrood’s other opposition parties in signing a pledge saying that they would “campaign to beat the ban on same sex marriage”.

The move was criticised by the Roman Catholic Church and now Stewart Geddes, chairman of the Edinburgh West Conservative Association, has warned that Miss Davidson’s views do not reflect those of the rest of the party.

Truth

Mr Geddes, a former Conservative candidate, said: “The impression seems to be that her view is representative of the party as a whole. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.”

A spokesman for the Party said: “Ruth has always made her position clear. She supports the principle of same-sex marriage, with the proviso that religious organisations which do not wish to carry out the ceremony are not compelled to do so.

“Scottish Conservative MSPs will be given a free vote on this issue.”

Consultation

A consultation on plans to rewrite the definition of marriage closed in December after receiving tens of thousands of responses.

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

In December Muslim leaders warned that the Scottish Government risked losing votes from the nation’s Muslim community with its plans to redefine marriage.

Vote

The Muslim Council of Scotland has warned that the plans could cause many Muslims to withdraw their support from the Scottish National Party.

Salah Beltagui, the group’s convener, said: “Generally, support for the SNP [among Scotland’s Muslim Community] has been strong, but if this goes on, it might change things.

“If you go back a few years, Labour was getting the majority of the vote and after Iraq it eroded very strongly, so it takes one issue like that to change things.”

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