Both the UK government and the devolved Scottish government are considering legislative changes to allow civil same-sex marriages.
This post by Adam Wagner at UK Human Rights Blog summarises the current legislative situation in both jurisdictions: Gay marriage on the way… but not quite yet.
…The Prime Minister said in his speech that “we’re consulting on legalising gay marriage.” In fact, to the annoyance of some campaigners, the consultation was announced by the Equalities Minister last month but will not begin until March of next year. According to gay news website Pink News, the Prime Minster personally intervened to ensure the law is changed “within the lifetime of this parliament“, but Liberal Conspiracy doubts whether this is now practically possible. By contrast, a Scottish consultation on gay marriage launched in September…
The Scottish Government’s consultation – which also covers the issue of civil partnership registrations taking place on religious premises in Scotland – is already in progress, see The Registration of Civil Partnerships Same Sex Marriage – A Consultation.
This consultation paper seeks views on the possibility of allowing religious ceremonies for civil partnerships and the possible introduction of same sex marriage…
…The Scottish Government is choosing to make its initial views clear at the outset of this consultation. We tend towards the view that religious ceremonies for civil partnerships should no longer be prohibited and that same sex marriage should be introduced so that same sex couples have the option of getting married if that is how they wish to demonstrate their commitment to each other. We also believe that no religious body or its celebrants should be required to carry out same sex marriages or civil partnership ceremonies…
Objections to this proposal have been voiced strongly. In particular:
And most recently, Former SNP leader calls for gay marriage referendum.
There have been objections to the objections too. Most notably from the Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, who preached this sermon last Sunday.
…It vexes me greatly to say so in public, but at such a time as this, there seems no alternative but to speak up. The behaviour of our brothers, the Roman Catholic Bishops in recent days, has been so unpleasant and so ill judged that it risks harming the good influence of the whole Christian community.
To behave as though bishops carry some kind of block vote to Holyrood, to threaten politicians and to decry those who want access to the dignity of marriage as unnatural…. to say these things seems to me to go too far.
Such comments from the leaders of the Roman Catholic church have left me feeling embarrassed as a Christian. There is a risk that all of the churches will appear to be out of touch, arrogant, conceited and rude. We don’t all have to agree but we are all called to behave charitably and there has been an absence of love in this relentlessly bitter campaign and it diminishes us all…
This led to news coverage in several places, including The Times (not available online without subscription) which ran a story with extensive quotes from the sermon under the headline Catholic views on gay marriage ‘unpleasant’.
And Channel 4 News hosted a discussion on the general topic (not specifically related to Scotland) which you can see here: Is Britain divided over the issue of gay marriage?