Two-thirds of Scots in favour of same-sex marriage

A new poll has found two-thirds of people in Scotland are in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

Union campaign: Protesters at an earlier demonstration
in favour of gay marriage at the Scottish Parliament.

The number includes nearly half of those who identify with a religious faith, according to a survey commissioned by gay rights organisation Stonewall Scotland.

The YouGov poll of nearly 2000 people also found three in five people believe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland suffer prejudice and five in six (83%) say the problem should be addressed.

The Scottish Government is expected to decide on July 10 whether to introduce same-sex marriage after considering the findings of a consultation that closed in December.

The government has already indicated it tends towards the view that same-sex marriage should be legal, although faith groups will not be obliged to conduct the ceremony.

Stonewall’s report finds that 66% blame religious attitudes for prejudice against gay people in Scotland, followed closely by a lack of acceptance in schools and workplaces, as well as parental attitudes.

Colin Macfarlane, director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “We pride ourselves in being seen as a nation of tolerance and respect but this poll only highlights that for thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Scots, the reality is very different.

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Children’s Charity Barnardo’s Chief Joins Gay Marriage Row

THE head of Scotland’s largest children’s charity has waded into the row over gay marriage, saying “love and care” – not a couple’s marital status – is the critical factor in raising youngsters.

Martin Crew, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said good parenting was not linked to sexual orientation or whether a couple are married but to providing “emotional security and being a good role model”.

Research conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament found 64% of people supported same-sex marriage, although 26% opposed same-sex marriage in places of worship.

However, the Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland, the Council of Glasgow Imams and the Episcopalian Church have registered objections to the legislation, arguing that marriage should be only between a man and a woman. The Humanists, the Unitarians, the United Reformed Church and the Quakers are among the groups who have no objection.

Mr Crew said he supports an equal right to marriage because it removed “yet another unhelpful distinction” between straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families.

However, he said that as part of the debate, opponents of gay marriage seemed to suggest a marriage between a man and a woman automatically made for the “optimal situation” to raise children.

He added: “However, the reality is that most children in Scotland are not now born to married couples. To insist that being married and heterosexual is best does a great disservice to the large numbers of parents doing a great job of raising their children in loving, stable, but varied, circumstances.”

The Barnardo’s Scotland director said: “Raising children is about providing emotional security and being a good role model. It is about encouraging good communication and challenging bad behaviour. Children need these things whether their parents are gay or straight, married or unmarried, lone parents or couples.”

Martin Williams
Senior News Reporter

-full post at  Herald Scotland

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