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26 July 2012

Scottish Government plan gay marriage legislation

Scottish Government plan gay marriage legislation

The Scottish Government's planned legislation to impose gay marriage despite strong public opposition is a "sad day for democracy" the Evangelical Alliance's Scotland director has said.

The SNP government has announced plans to bring forward a bill on the issue, with the start of 2015 earmarked as the earliest time ceremonies could take place.

More than 77,000 people responded to the consultation, with 64 per cent coming out against same-sex marriage. The Scotland for Marriage campaign group, which the Evangelical Alliance is a part of, brought together many groups which believe that the proposals to redefine marriage would be highly damaging and undermine the role of marriage as one of the basic building blocks of society.

Fred Drummond, Scotland director for the Evangelical Alliance, said: "The announcement comes from a government that said it wanted to listen to public opinion before it went ahead with decisions on changes to marriage legislation.

"Its wholesale disregard for the consultation process stands to make members of all faiths seriously consider whether the voice of the faith community even matters to the SNP government.

"If these plans go ahead the SNP government will, at a stroke, be dismantling generations of social structure without any possibilities of guaranteed protection for faith communities."

Plans to redefine marriage were announced in Scotland before England and Wales, although the significant delay in responding to the consultation has led to speculation that first minister Alex Salmond might wait and follow Downing Street's lead. The British government is expected to provide a response in England and Wales later this year.