The Scottish government has confirmed it will introduce a bill within the month to allow same-sex marriage.
A consultation on the proposed Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill closed in March, but the responses have yet to be published.
Ministers promised to change the law, but also to protect the rights of religious groups who do not want to carry out such ceremonies.
The Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church are against the plans.
Once the legislative proposal is lodged at parliament it will undergo scrutiny before committee members and in the chamber.
From Democracy Live: Alex Neil updates MSPs on gay marriage
The government said the bill would also allow civil ceremonies to take place at a location other than a registrar’s office.
Alex Neil told MSPs that the bill would be introduced in the current parliamentary sessions.
Talks have been taking place with the UK Government because ministers at Holyrood believe an amendment is needed to UK equalities legislation to protect individual celebrants who may not want to conduct same-sex ceremonies even if their church, as an organisation, backs them.
Health secretary Mr Neil said “substantial progress” had been made on the issue in discussions with UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller.
The UK government’s plans to legalise gay marriage cleared the House of Commons last week.
– continue reading at BBC News
- Gay marriage could be legal in Scotland ‘sooner rather than later’, says Health Secretary Alex Neil (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Gay marriage bill comes before MSPs (bbc.co.uk)
- Scottish News: Legalisation of gay marriage ‘soon’ (acadvertiser.co.uk)