Out gay SNP MSP, Marco Biagi, lodged a Motion stating the Scottish parliament welcomes the announcement same-sex marriage “will come into effect on 31 December 2014,” receiving cross party support, yesterday.
It also noted that, from that date, it will be possible for same-sex couples in Scotland to have a civil marriage ceremony or a religious or belief based ceremony.
The motion also stated that it “believes that Hogmanay 2014 will be a historic day for Scotland and will be a day of celebration for LGBTI people throughout the country.”
In addition it recognised “the considerable efforts that it believes that groups such as the Equality Network and the Scottish Youth Parliament, along with the many thousands of LGBTI rights’ activists, put into campaigning for equal marriage over many years.”
Finally it celebrated the fact “that Scotland will bring in the new year with what it sees as one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world; believes that this was passed with clear public and parliamentary support that demonstrated the country’s commitment to equality for all, but concludes that, while significant progress has been made toward LGBTI rights in Scotland, that there is still more to do to secure full equality in law and society.”
The motion received cross party support, including: Joan McAlpine, Kevin Stewart, Cara Hilton, Adam Ingram, Dennis Robertson, Roderick Campbell, David Torrance, Liam McArthur, Christina McKelvie, Patrick Harvie, Christian Allard, Jean Urquhart, Mike MacKenzie, Aileen McLeod, and Colin Beattie.
Speaking with KaleidoScot, out gay Kevin Stewart MSP for the SNP said he “was delighted and honoured to be able to vote in favour of Equal Marriage in Scotland earlier this year.
“Adding to that, I had the additional privilege of being able to speak in both debates. I was able to reflect on my own experiences growing up and to look forward to the kind of Scotland that I want future generations to be able to grow up in. My parents’ marriage served me well and their example makes me believe that the right to marry the person you love should be extended to include same sex couples.
“We now have a date, this Hogmanay, from when Scotland will have equal marriage. It allows those couples who are eager to get married to start planning ahead. It also means that every year on Hogmanay, a day that means so much to Scotland, we can celebrate not only the passing of an old year, but also the dawning of a more equal society. We should recognise the hard work done by so many organisations and thousands of people to reach this stage where we have one of the world’s most progressive equal marriage laws, but remember there is still more to do to secure full equality in law and society.”
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 was passed by the Scottish Parliament with an overwhelming majority of 105 votes to 18, receiving a Royal Assent in March.
The Act will come into effect on 16 December, with the first weddings on Hogmany, 31 December.
Couples who already have a civil partnership can convert it to marriage from 16 December.
Marriages can be conducted by a registrar, religious celebrant or belief (humanist) celebrant, in essence enabling couples to choose a secular of faith-based wedding.
16 December is also significant for Scots trans who will be able to apply for gender recognition without having to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. Married trans people will be able to stay married.
Those who married in Scotland will then be able to get a new marriage certificate in their new name and showing their new chosen designation ‘bride’, ‘bridegroom’ or neither.
‘Spousal veto’ was removed from the Act when the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee accepted an amendment from Linda Fabiani MSP.