The marriage equality juggernaut rolls along:
Scotland’s same-sex marriage bill is passed
A bill which allows same-sex weddings to take place in Scotland has been passed by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
MSPs voted by 105 to 18 in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.
The Scottish government said the move was the right thing to do but Scotland’s two main churches were opposed to it.
The first gay and lesbian weddings could take place this autumn.
Religious and belief bodies can “opt in” to perform same-sex marriages.
Ministers said no part of the religious community would be forced to hold such ceremonies in churches.
Equal Marriage campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament
During a debate at Holyrood, MSPs rejected amendments which were said to provide “protection” for groups and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage.
The SNP’s John Mason tabled an amendment stating that no-one could be “compelled by any means” to solemnise gay marriage, including by a contract or a legal requirement.
Continue reading : BBC Scotland news
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