What a dangerous precedent it would be for the Government to cave in to religious demands of this kind. What would it say about the kind of society Scotland is becoming if a Church – any church – was handed an effective veto over the parliamentary process whenever an issue was raised that didn’t comply with their own absurd doctrines.
We’ve seen the way such processes are used in the US to promote the agenda of whichever religious groups can spend the most money, and I’d hate to think of Scotland going the same way.
Same-sex marriage was raised in most party manifestos at the 2011 election, it has broad public support, and it’s entirely reasonable to go ahead with the normal legislative process on this just as we do with any other proposal to change the law. Marriage has changed fundamentally for the better over the years, and is now a relationship between equals instead of a means by which men own and control women. Opening it to same-sex couples on equal terms is a minor change by comparison.
The campaign against equal marriage has been misleading and selfish from the word go, and merely represents a continued refusal to accept lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people’s equal status and basic human rights. Let’s remember that the Catholic Church in particular has opposed every step forward, from an equal age of consent to the repeal of Section 2A and the outlawing of discrimination in employment and services.
However it clearly doesn’t represent mainstream opinion, which has transformed dramatically for the better over recent decades.
Perhaps this video, produced by the campaign for equal marriage in Ireland, captures how many people would feel if the Government gave in to this delaying tactic and turned our personal lives into a referendum issue.