Commission welcomes announcement on same sex marriage

The Scottish Government has announced that legislation will be introduced to allow same sex marriages to take place in Scotland. Read the news release from the Scottish Government.

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said today: “The Commission welcomes the announcement today as a means of ensuring that Scotland is a fair country which respects the human dignity and rights of everyone.

“Paving the way for same sex marriage through the proposed legislative route is a realistic and considered way forward which recognises, protects and balances the human rights of individual celebrants as well as same sex couples in Scotland.  Countries throughout Europe and around the world are increasingly recognising same sex marriage in law and it is right that Scotland should join them.”

In December 2011 the Commission responded to the Scottish Government consultation, on civil partnership and same sex marriage. Key points from the submission include:

  • The Commission is of the view that the equal right of same sex couples to marry should be guaranteed in law. Legislation around same sex marriage should be sufficiently inclusive, promoting and recognising committed relationships. This change should come about whether or not the UK Government follows similar legislation.

  • The principle of equality should inform both marriage, and civil partnerships in Scotland i.e. civil partnerships should also be an option for heterosexual couples.

  • The Commission believes that no religious body or celebrant should be required to register a civil partnership against their religious beliefs or be obliged to solemnise same sex marriages.

You can read the full submission here in Word format.

You can read the full consultation paper online at the Scottish Government website.