Leaked email: no equal marriage

The SNP’s Yes Scotland declaration:

“I believe that it is fundamentally better for us all, if decisions about Scotland’s future are taken by the people who care most about Scotland, that is, by the people of Scotland.

Being independent means Scotland’s future will be in Scotland’s hands.

There is no doubt that Scotland has great potential. We are blessed with talent, resources and creativity. We have the opportunity to make our nation a better place to live, for this and future generations. We can build a greener, fairer and more prosperous society that is stronger and more successful than it is today.

I want a Scotland that speaks with her own voice and makes her own unique contribution to the world: a Scotland that stands alongside the other nations on these isles, as an independent nation.”

The quasi-legal argument some religionist objectors make to same-sex marriage is:

  • They claim that people who “speak out against it” might need special protection.
  • There’s no evidence for this. Neither in any of the countries in which same-sex marriage has been made legal, nor in any example of a religionist saying hateful things about LGBT people in the UK.

  • They claim that a minister or priest who refuses to celebrate the marriage of a same-sex couple might be sued to “force” them, and needs “special protection” to make sure this doesn’t happen.
  • There’s no evidence for this either. Not in any country where same-sex marriage is legal. Even in the Scandinavian countries where ministers of the state church have no general right to refuse to celebrate the marriage of any citizen couple, even there individual ministers in the state church have a right in conscience to refuse.

This is absurd, hateful nonsense. If it’s true – as BBC Scotland say the leaked email they have received suggests – that the Scottish Government have swallowed this nonsense and are proposing to delay legalising same-sex marriage in Scotland “until Westminster amends the Equalities Act”, then first, they have become the most gullible, scared crowd of fraidy-cats that ever graced a Cabinet table, and second, whoever means the claim in the “Yes Scotland” declaration, the SNP Cabinet don’t.

A leaked e-mail seen by BBC Scotland suggests the Scottish government may not introduce a bill on gay marriage until Westminster changes the law.

The correspondence between civil servants suggests SNP ministers want the UK Equalities Act to be amended.

It suggests ministers want protection for celebrants who disapprove of same-sex marriage, and freedom of speech for those who want to speak out against it.

This leaked email may not be true. Or if true, may represent a last-ditch argument from the nay-sayers.

But if it’s true, and if the SNP back it up by declaring before the end of July that no, they’ve no plans now to support equal marriage in Scotland now til safely after the independence referendum: why then, they deserve to lose it. No one wants a government that will bend in any direction that it thinks might get it more votes.

People have cavilled about NATO membership, and Scotland’s currency, and the Royal Family, and so on, but there were policy arguments to be made one way or the other for any of those, even if I didn’t agree with them. For this, though, there’s nothing to be said; if it’s true, the SNP have just decided they’ll run scared of the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church campaigning against them for autumn 2014.

I wonder what LGBT Yes Scotland thinks of their campaign now?

18th July 2013: The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 has received Royal Assent, making same-sex marriage legal in England and Wales by 2014.

Houses of Parliament - Rainbow BusI would like to say how extremely glad I am to have been so very wrong about this.

I’d assumed that if same-sex marriage in Scotland was conditional on same-sex marriage being made legal in England and Wales, that would mean a delay.

The Herald: “Holyrood urged to follow suit as gay marriage clears Lords”


Filed under Elections, LGBT Equality, Scottish Politics

2 responses to “Leaked email: no equal marriage

  1. Sandor Szarvas

    Great article, especially about workfare (been through Ingeus myself) Marriage is between man and woman so the term “equal” marriage is a misnomer that is why I disagree with it. It is not unequal in the sense that race, gender, religion, or ethnic discrmination is.

    • Thanks for the feedback about Ingeus. The use of private companies for workfare is horrendous.

      Sorry you don’t see LGBT people as entitled to the same civil and human rights as cisgendered straight people, though.

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