A new guide to same-sex marriage and civil partnership in Scotland has been launched on Thursday to mark the start of Scotland’s equal marriage law.
10,000 copies of the guide have been published by the Equality Network to explain to same-sex couples how they can register a marriage or civil partnership in Scotland, and to inform LGBTI people about their rights and responsibilities under the new law.
The Equality Network anticipate that between 500 and 1000 same-sex couples will marry or register a civil partnership within the first year of the new law, and around 4-500 will marry or register a civil partnership every year thereafter. This will include many gay and lesbian couples that are expected to travel from other countries to marry in Scotland.
In a special foreword to the guide Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, said “2014 was a momentous year for equality in Scotland. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 passed with an overwhelming majority in the Scottish Parliament in February, and I am delighted that the first same-sex marriages will happen this year. As a Government, we are proud to have introduced one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world.
“The Scottish Government first consulted on allowing same-sex marriage in 2011. I am personally proud of my involvement, when Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, in leading this consultation which started the journey to marriage equality in Scotland.
“I believe that the love between a couple, regardless of their gender, sexuality, belief or background, is powerful and should be valued and recognised. This legislation sends a powerful message to the world about the kind of Scotland we seek to create and it is a clear indication of the Scottish Government’s commitment to equality. I wish all the very best to those couples who will now be able to enter into marriage.”
Tom French, Policy of the Equality Network said: “While the law to allow same-sex marriage has now come into effect we know that many same-sex couples are still unsure how to make use of it, and whether they are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as those in mixed-sex marriages.
“This guide to the new legislation will help ensure that LGBTI people know their rights and understand what this change in the law means for their individual circumstances.”
French also thanked the First Minister and the sponsorship of the guide by BLM law firm.
The guide also contains a wedding directory of a range of civil, religious and belief celebrants who are approved to conduct same-sex marriages, and wedding venues and services providers who are keen to show their support and commitment to serving same-sex couples. These include: Humanist Society Scotland, the Unitarians, the Quakers, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Open Episcopal Church, the Pagan Federation (Scotland), One Spirit Interfaith Foundation, and Fuze Ceremonies. Other advertisers include City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council, Stirling Council, and a range of venues and other wedding service providers.