Main | Thursday, July 19, 2012

SCOTLAND: Leaked Email Suggests No Marriage Until UK "Protects" Churches

According to a leaked email seen by the BBC, the Scottish government may not present its marriage equality bill until the British government amends a law to "protect" churches from being "forced" to hold same-sex ceremonies.
The correspondence seen by the BBC said ministers were expected to introduce the policy, but not before the UK Equalities Act, which guarantees equal treatment from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, was amended first. It said: "We may announce that we will proceed with the introduction of same-sex marriage, by means of both civil and religious ceremonies, and with the introduction of religious ceremonies to register civil partnerships. "However we may also say, and give considerable prominence to saying, that the government recognises the need to provide appropriate protections for some in Scottish society who are against same sex marriage. I expect we will say that the Equality Act 2010 needs to be amended to provide full protection for individual celebrants who are opposed to same-sex ceremonies, even if their religious body has decided to opt in to carrying out such ceremonies."
The Scottish government was due to present its intentions on July 10th and on Tuesday they announced that there would be no public vote on gay marriage.

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