Thursday, 17 March 2011
EHRC recommends changes to Marriage law in Scotland
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (Scotland) has issued this press release: New Scottish Government called upon to address Equal Marriage for same sex couples.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland today launched a new report calling for access to equal marriage for same sex couples in Scotland. The report is a result of a symposium recently held by the Commission to investigate perceived barriers to equal marriage and suggest ways forward for legislators.
Scotland currently has a segregated family law system in which marriage is available only to mixed-sex couples, and civil partnership only to same-sex couples.
In England and Wales, the UK Government has announced public consultations on proposals to hold civil partnerships on religious premises and to open up civil marriage to same-sex couples and civil partnership to mixed-sex couples. However, because marriage and civil partnership are devolved issues, these proposals apply to England and Wales only.
The report calls upon the Scottish Government to consider these disparities and to take steps to bring about equal access to marriage in Scotland. The evidence and research contained within the report aims to inform their deliberations…
The EHRC report is available here: Equal Access to Marriage: Ending the segregation of same-sex couples and transgender people in Scotland. (PDF)
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 12:45pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Scotland has a long cultural, intellectual and legal tradition, and history of independent and creative thought and action.
Wonderful to read this fresh approach to common our life.
Yes please, equal marriage.
I very much welcome this intervention. In particular I welcome the recommendation about religious groupings as well as individual ministers having the ability to decline participation which I think is the correct way to proceed.
Incredible..when you consider that Scotland has negative population growth.
"Scots Wha hae wi Wallace bled!"
The Scots do seem to be following the path of Inclusivity in the civil sphere. Let's hope the Episcopal Church in Scotland quickly grasps the nettle (thistle?) and clears the way for an hospitable reception for same-sex couples to be recognised in am appropriate religious ceremony to suit the occasion of 'Two people who Love one another, and want to share that Love together for the rest of their lives'
So? You think NOT having same-sex marriage would some how correct that?
Oh WHAT are you on about, RIW? What does *marriage equality* POSSIBLY have to do w/ "negative population growth"?
You do understand that Teh Gays will be just as gay w/ or w/o equality? That marriage will actually PROMOTE child-bearing and/or child-raising by same-sex couples (perhaps adopting from abroad, if growing the Scottish population is so important)?
What's incredible, is your non-sequitur.
"Incredible..when you consider that Scotland has negative population growth."
It is, indeed, an incredibly hopeful thing to see that there are still places with enough human rationality to rise above the fears and base drives of the more animalistic mind to do what is right for the broader community.
You imagine RIW, that if gay folk cannot marry each other, they will be so desperate to marry they suddenly decide to marry the opposite sex? Er, don't think it works like that.
Of course if there is marriage equality then more gay people may stay in Scotland or move there and may potentially be more likely to have children but certainly no less likely to have children. I'd have thought being married makes it more likely not less to have children for both gay and straight couples.
JCF, it's not a non sequitur, it's that well known detrimental effect gay relationships have on straight marriage. You watch those birth rates plummet even more as a direct consequence.
Well actually Rosemary, I know many gay people who marry people of the opposite sex, most of them are clerics.
Sad. But true.
That doesn't stop Robert (who also knows lots of gay people in marriages) getting my nomination for the silliest comment of the year.
Some of his letters in the Church of England newspaper and Church Times however are very good!
RIW - Your comment is demeaning to marriage, strongly implying as it does, a one-dimensional view of marriage as nothing more than a breeding ground. This is profoundly un-Anglican, as it ignores two of the traditional three reasons for marriage: to promote faithfulness, and for mutual comfort and support. Obliquely, it also puts women in the position of being nothing more than a vessel for producing children.
As a second generation Scottish-Canadian (my dad comes from the balmacqueen MacQueen's of Skye), this is very good news. Let us pray that the Scottish Episcopal Church will celebrate and bless the marriages of all members of the Church who love one another, regardless of what +RW wants them to do.
And to RIW: Dearheart, this is 2011. Gay people can have children with a little help from science, and without resorting to painful marriages with members of the opposite sex. I regularly baptize the children of same sex couples who are members of my parish and I make sure that their children are equally welcome in our Sunday School. It's a new day, Robert. A day when persons long despised and humiliated, or merely tactfully tolerated, are finding their full humanity in Christ.
The reasons gay clergy marry and make their spouses miserable relates to social attitudes in the church. As I too know gay people in heterosexual marriages, I know well the misery it too often breeds - but in this country I think the days of such folly are over, frankly. Even for the clergy. The point is that any gay couple can enter a civil partnership, and the petty disapproval of not granting full marriage will not in any way persuade them into the patterns of twenty years ago. It is childish to think it will.
If this passes and reduces our population growth in Scotland by repelling reactionary nit-wits such as RIW then I'm all for it!
RIW: If you are going to represent a less liberal position on marriage, at least do so with thoughtfulness.
You've become blog fodder!
My comment was referring to the fact that contraception has produced negative population growth in Scotland. The small Gay population of Scotland is less of a threat to national fecundity than the contracepting heterosexuals.
There are always men and women in every generation anyway who do not marry and have children. Please be less judgemental.
Yes I do agree that many of the commonly heard assertions about how equality for queer folks in nearly anything at all in modern life, inevitably will involve this or that awful detriment to straight folks, especially to married straight folks. And even more especially, to solidly traditional married straight folks in church life ... cannot be taken for granted at face value?
Seems a low, dirty view of married straight folks, generally, and an even lower view of traditional married straight folks in the local church. Being married and straight seems so abundantly qualified by its high and continuing difficulty that just a whiff of a committed queer couple next door (probably raising kids) ... or a fuzzy fish tale of how much great fun it was for some gay guy or lesbian woman to go clubbing last weekend ... threatens to bring the whole business clanging down, radioactive as Chernobyl? Just sayin...
'brevity is the soul of wit', but not when it bears little relation to the substantive topic.
RIW got the exact reaction he wanted. I don't understand why people fall in the trap of even addressing him. You're not going to change his mind. RIW are you a Roman Catholic?
I think everyone knows we won't change RIW's mind (who, I believe, is a former evangelical turned Roman Catholic).
That's not actually the point.
Most of the people we slug it out here with will never change their minds.
The reason for engaging is really to keep refuting their arguments, to keep showing that they're wrong and to address the silent readers who may be a lot more moderate, may not yet have made up their minds and are genuinely interested in the conversation and the various arguments that can be made.
Yes I am a Catholic in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, but i am Welsh not Roman.
Reaction.. I was pointing out that the greater threat to our civilization are contracepting heterosexuals.
oh the evils of family planning !
I am a Catholic in communion with the Society of Friends and the Church of England.