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Friday, 19 July 2013

Are Gay Scots being strung along by the Scottish Government?

Tom French of Scotland's Scottish Government funded Equality Network expresses frustration in the latest edition of Pink News that, having been the first part of the UK to begin the process of legalising same sex marriage, Scotland has now fallen behind.

David Cameron's head-on challenge to the Conservative Party and the UK Parliament has now led to the passing of same sex marriage laws in England and Wales but in Scotland the process has been much delayed.

Tom French's account of the long strung out process in Scotland since 2008 when the Network launched the campaign for equal marriage suggests to this seasoned observer of the political scene that gay marriage campaigners are being strung along by the Scottish Government.

Chastened by the divisions about with equal rights for gay people within the Church of Scotland and by the outright opposition of the Roman Catholic Church and the Coalition for Marriage, the Scottish Government, even though it has a controlling majority in the Scottish Parliament, is taking its time to pass the relevant legislation because it fears that such steps might prejudice support for its main priority - a 'Yes' vote in the independence referendum.

It looks like the Scottish Government is delaying final approval of the legislation and the first same sex marriages in Scotland until after the referendum in September 2014.

But there can be no guarantees after the referendum that the legislation will be finally approved. If there is a 'yes' vote there will be other momentous decisions to be made; if there is a 'no' vote there will be disarray in the SNP administration along with the resignation of the First Minister.

See Tom French's statement at