Posts Tagged ‘equal marriage’

A Letter of Thanks from The Scottish Youth Parliament

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

26th July 2012

Dear Ms. Sturgeon,

A Letter of Thanks from the Scottish Youth Parliament

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all MSYPs and the young people of Scotland to say thank you to you and to the Scottish Government as a whole for taking the historic step to legislate for same-sex marriage in Scotland.

Through our campaign, Love Equally, tens of thousands of young people have voiced their support for equal marriage. Young people across the length and breadth of Scotland have told us that they believe in the very simple message of our campaign – two people who love each other should be able to get married.

We thank the Scottish Government for listening to the views of its young people, not only sending an extremely strong and positive message rooted in equality but also showing young people that by engaging in the democratic process they can bring about real change.

The Scottish Youth Parliament understands that this announcement comes at the beginning of an important legislative process and we very much look forward to doing all that we can to assist this process, ensuring that the views of young people continue to be heard. There is still much to do and we urge the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to make any necessary changes to the Equality Act as soon as possible, so that equal marriage can be made a reality in Scotland without delay.

Yours sincerely,

Grant Costello MSYP
Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament

SYP ‘Very Disappointed at Delay on Equal Marriage’

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

The Scottish Youth Parliament today, Tuesday 17th July 2012 expressed their disappointment on behalf of Scotland’s young people at the Scottish Government’s decision to further delay their announcement on Equal Marriage.

The Scottish Government consultation on same-sex marriage closed on the 9th of December 2011, the Scottish Government had previously indicated there would be an announcement in March, June and the tenth of July before today’s further delay.

Grant Costello MSYP, Scottish Youth Parliament Chair says:
“It’s very disappointing the Scottish Government has once again delayed the decision to publish the consultation results, and reveal their own plans for Equal Marriage. It’s time to halt the hold-ups, end the delays, and put a stop to the speculation. Scotland’s young people have made their view clear, they deserve an answer from Scotland’s Government.

“Let’s be clear, now is the time for Equal Marriage. A majority of MSPs are in favour. A majority of Scots, and an overwhelming majority of Scotland’s youth, support Equal Marriage. It’s time for the Scottish Government to stop the dither and delay, to listen to the clear message being sent by Scotland’s young people, and to make Equal Marriage a reality for Scotland.”

SYP ‘Very Disappointed at Delay’

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

The Scottish Youth Parliament today expressed their disappointment on behalf of Scotland’s young people at the Scottish Government’s decision to further delay their announcement on Equal Marriage.

The Scottish Government Consultation on same-sex marriage closed on the 9th of December 2011, the Scottish Government had previously indicated there would be an announcement in June 2012.

Grant Costello, Scottish Youth Parliament Chair says:

“It’s very disappointing the Scottish Government has once again delayed the decision to publish the consultation results, and reveal their own plans for Equal Marriage. It’s time to halt the hold-ups, end the delays, and put a stop to the speculation. Scotland’s young people have made their view clear, they deserve an answer from Scotland’s Government. “Let’s be clear, now is the time for Equal Marriage. A majority of MSPs are in favour. A majority of Scots, and an overwhelming majority of Scotland’s youth, support Equal Marriage. It’s time for the Scottish Government to stop the dither and delay, to listen to the clear message being sent by Scotland’s young people, and to make Equal Marriage a reality for Scotland.” ENDS Notes to Editors 1. All Media Enquiries to Ewan MacDonald, SYP Parliamentary & Press Officer, on 07753 410676 or ewan.m@syp.org.uk.

Young People Demand an Equal Scotland

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Research by the Scottish Youth Parliament and LGBT Youth Scotland has shown over three-quarters of young people are in favour of Equal Marriage. The Scottish Youth Parliament, and LGBT Youth are now both calling on the Scottish Government to announce plans to bring Equal Marriage to Scotland and create the truly equal Scotland it’s young people want to live in.

Analysis by the two organisations of yesterdays Ipsos-Mori opinion poll has found 78% of young people aged between 18-24 are in favour of the statement: “Same-sex couples should have the right to get married”; with 77% of those aged 25-34 also being in favour.

These figures correlate with research done last year by the Scottish Youth Parliament in their Manifesto consultation, Picture the Change.  On the basis of 42,804 responses from Scotland’s young people. the SYP found 74% of young people were in favour of the statement: “All Laws regarding homosexual relationships, whether male or female, should be equal to those of heterosexual relationships.”

Grant Costello MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, says:

“Our nation’s young people have spoken loudly and clearly and politicians need to listen – the Government must work to build the equal, tolerant and fair society that they so passionately desire. There are no longer any excuses. Every exercise shows an overwhelming majority of young people in favour of equal marriage.  It is clear from this recent poll the people of Scotland are in favour of equal marriage. There is a cross-party majority at Holyrood in favour of equal marriage.  It is time for the Scottish Government to bring forward legislation to create the more fair, more equal and more tolerant Scotland demanded by our young people.”.

Mhairi McMillan, Head of Policy and Mainstreaming, LGBT Youth Scotland, added;

“LGBT Young People want marriage equality because they want the same rights as any other person in Scotland, the right to have either a civil or religious marriage if they so choose.  LGBT Young People experience high levels of homophobia and homophobic bullying and all a segregated, separate legal system of partnership rights does is compound that experience by telling people it is ok to treat LGBT Young People differently and not afford them the equality they deserve.  The majority of young people do believe in equality and LGBT Youth Scotland calls on the Scottish Government to listen to them and make equal marriage a reality for Scotland now.”

New Poll shows record support for Equal Marriage

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The Scottish Youth Parliament’s Love Equally campaign today received a boost with the release of an opinion poll conducted last week, which shows record public support for Equal Marriage. This comes on the back of Love Equally winning Campaign of the Year at the Scottish Charity awards on Thursday 15th June.

The Scottish Youth Parliament are now calling on the Scottish Government to announce whether they will be legislating on Equal Marriage.

The opinion poll which was commissioned by the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Equality Network and LGBT Youth Scotland, and was conducted by Ipsos-Mori from 12th-14th June 2012, asked 1003 people within Scotland:

‘To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?’

‘Same-sex couples should have the right to get married’; 64% agreed with the statement: with 33% being strongly in favour.

‘Religious organisations should have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to conduct same-sex marriages”; 68% agreed with the statement: with 30% strongly in favour.

The poll clearly shows younger voters are significantly in favour of Equal Marriage. 18-24 year-olds are 78% in favour of same-sex marriage, and 74% in favour of religious organisations having the option to conduct same-sex marriages.

Grant Costello MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, says:“It’s clear the overwhelming majority of Scots are following the lead of Scotland’s young people in declaring their support for Equal Marriage. Every time you ask them, from consultation to conversation to opinion poll, Scotland’s young people have clearly declared marriage should be about whom you love, not the gender of your partner. It’s clear the majority of Scots now agree.

“It’s time for Scotland’s Government to take action on the demands for a more equal society. A majority of Scots want Equal Marriage. A majority of MSPs want Equal Marriage. There can be no excuses and no delays from Scotland’s Government. It’s time to act – to create the fairer, more tolerant, more equal society Scotland’s young people demand and deserve.”

 

Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said;
“Scotland has spoken and the message is clear; there is now overwhelming support for equal marriage across the country and in the Scottish Parliament. This record level of support gives the Scottish Government the green light they need to announce legislation that will give lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people full marriage equality, both civil and religious.”

 

Mhairi McMillan, Head of Policy and Mainstreaming, LGBT Youth Scotland, added;

“The majority of Scottish people want marriage equality, the majority of MSP’s want marriage equality, the time for change is now. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people deserve the exact same rights as any other person in Scotland and LGBT young people want this unequal, segregated system to end now. The right to marry the person you love is a fundamental right, today’s poll shows Scotland agrees. It’s now up to the Scottish government to make this a legal right for all Scotland’s people.”

Laura Speaks to Channel 4 on Equal Marriage

Friday, February 10th, 2012

By Laura McLachlan, MSYP for LGBT Youth Scotland

I recently had the opportunity to go down to London to film with Channel 4 as part of their 4thought series from a young person’s perspective on Equal Marriage. This was a great day and also special that I got to put my views across on the campaigns that I have been working on for the past two years. The interview was about my views and what I thought about the religious bodies being opposed to same-sex marriage and also about how I felt about marriage as an individual from the LGBT community. As you will see from my interview I have always wanted a white wedding but also I see that if religious bodies are opposed to performing same-sex marriage then they should not be forced to do so. Check out my interview and the other interviews from the series by clicking here .

As a representative for LGBT National Youth Council we have been working on our campaign called M.E 2 (Marriage Equality 2) we have held a symposium in partnership with the Equality Network, held a photo petition on Equal Marriage and also a 10k run to raise awareness of Equal Marriage.

Becoming an MSYP was a great opportunity for me to get the young people’s voice’s heard and the main issue that was arising was Marriage Equality and when the ‘Love Equally’ campaign became SYP’s national campaign. I was so proud to be a part of both organisations fighting for the same cause. Love Equally has gained so much support around Scotland and also hit the headlines in many news rooms across Scotland and the publicity towards the campaign has been great in many areas clearly showing that young people’s voice’s are being listened too.

2011 ended with a massive push to ensure a massive positive response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on same-sex marriage and with over 50,000 responses I think we did a pretty decent job! 2012 kicked off with a busy start and I have been spreading the word a lot about Equal Marriage and also doing a few other bits and pieces for LGBT Youth Scotland.

In October I also spoke at a fringe event at the SNP Conference in Inverness alongside Austin Sheridan MSYP which was sponsored by Alyn Smith MEP. We spoke about the Love Equally campaign and I also presented a speech to represent young people’s views on the subject of marriage. We then had a question-and-answer session where the people got to ask us questions or give us there thoughts on marriage. The event was packed full of MSPs, journalists and members of the public and we had a few negative comments but all in all the event went really well and we got so many supporters from it.

The Love Equally and M.E 2 campaigns have brought Scotland to a place of better understanding of equality and what needs to change and hopefully in the not too distant future it will change. As an MSYP I hope that we all keep up the hard work and maintain the belief that Scotland will change, keep campaigning and educate people on the issues that young people face every day. Hope you are all excited for the Love Equally March on Valentine’s Day and of course the March sitting and hope to see you all there! :)

Equal Marriage

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The issue of extending legal marriage to same-sex couples and civil partnerships to heterosexual couples has been gaining support and attention recently.

There has been some political support and a number of organisations intending to actively campaign for a change in the law. It would appear that the issue will appear on the agenda during the next Parliamentary session.

In our Change the Picture manifesto 73.50% of young people agreed with the statement ‘All laws regarding homosexual relationships, whether male or female, should be equal to those of heterosexual relationships.’ At the June 2011 sitting SYP voted to campaign on the issue of equal marriage. We will be launching the campaign soon, with plenty of ways to get involved, so watch this space!

Current Laws

Who can (and can’t) get married?

Any two persons, regardless of where they live, may marry in Scotland provided that:

  • Both persons are at least 16 years of age on the day of their marriage
  • They are not related to one another
  • They are not already married or in a civil partnership
  • They are not of the same sex
  • They are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marrying
  • If either is from another country, the marriage would be recognised as valid in that country as well 

 Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 explicitly prohibits marriage from taking place between same sex couples; also the Civil Partnership Act 2004 specifically excludes mixed sex couples.

Differences between Marriage and Civil Partnership:

Although a civil partnership is essentially viewed as a “gay marriage”, between same sex partners, the reason it is not called a “gay marriage”, is that there are a few differences between a partnership and a marriage on a technical level.

  • The Civil Partnership Act states that it will not allow any form of religious activity to occur during the process of registering the union
  • A clergy can perform marriages, whereas only specified registrars can perform a civil partnership
  • Religious and humanist organisations who wish to solemnise same sex marriages are currently banned from doing so
  • As same sex marriage and mixed sex civil partnership are illegal, transsexual people are forced to undergo a divorce or dissolve their civil partnership before receiving legal gender recognition
  • More than 2500 same sex couples in Scotland have so far chosen to register a civil partnership. Research has shown that many of these couples would have chosen to get married if the option was available
  • Couples in a civil partnership are not legally allowed to be referred to as ‘husband’ or ‘wife’, but have to be addressed as ‘civil partner’

Political Support

In their responses to Change the Picture, Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens ‘agree in full’. The Conservatives ‘agree in part’; the SNP have ‘no position’, saying “issues such as same sex marriage are considered a matter of conscience for individual representatives. As such, the party does not have an official policy.” In their manifesto the SNP stated “We recognise the range of views on the questions of same-sexmarriage and registration of civil partnership. We will therefore begin a process of consultation and discussion on these issues.”

In their manifestos, Labour promised to consult on the issue and the Lib Dems pledged their support for equal marriage. The Greens have committed themselves to bringing forward legislation for same-sex marriage in the upcoming session of Parliament and are confident of getting necessary cross-party support for a change in the law.

 

Around the world

Same-sex marriages have been growing support around the world and since 2001 countries have begun legally formalizing and performing marriages. These countries include; Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, as well as Mexico City and parts of the United States. 

The USA has seen seven states making gay marriage legal, with many more considering or having adaptations of civil partnerships.

Interesting Links

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/cuomo-obama-and-the-realm-of-the-possible/

http://equallove.org.uk/

http://www.equalmarriagerights.org/

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/fresh-call-for-gay-marriages-to-be-legalised-1.1042860