We think that two people who love each other should be able to get married.
It’s as simple as that.
We want to live in a Scotland where:
We urge the Scottish Government to work quickly on making this a reality
Young people in their thousands have told us the law should be the same for everyone. Research shows the majority of Scots of all ages support marriage equality. This is a reality in 10 countries already, with several others moving in that direction – don’t let Scotland be left behind.
Join together with us and LOVE EQUALLY.
There are loads of ways you can support the campaign. We’d like to let the Scottish Government know that young people want marriage equality to become a reality and we’re not prepared to wait.
We’ve just had a fantastic campaign success – after the launch of our Love Equally campaign for marriage equality and our petition which has been signed by over 2,000 people in just a month, the Scottish Government has published a consultation on the issue!
The petition called for the Government to bring forward this consultation, which was originally scheduled to be published over a year from now. This is a massive success and a huge well done to each and every one of you – we’ve heard fantastic stories about everyone who’s gone the extra mile for the campaign and it’s paid off in style!
This is just the first step in the road however – there’s still much we need to do to make marriage equality a reality. The next step is to make sure the Scottish Government are left in no doubt that the majority of Scotland’s young people want marriage equality – this is up to each and every one of us to play our part. Our opponents are trying to fool the Government into thinking that the majority of Scots don’t want marriage equality, when in fact the opposite is true. Don’t let them win!
So in the next few days we’ll be sending out a guide to responding to the Government’s consultation. We’re aiming to make it as easy as possible to flood the consultation with hundreds of individual responses from MSYPs and other young people across Scotland so that our voices are heard loud and clear!
And this is just for starters! For all the latest on the campaign, keep your eye on www.facebook.com/officialsyp. If you’ve got any other great ideas we’d love to hear them and make them happen – get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org with all your suggestions!
In our modern Scotland, we think that all laws regarding same-sex relationships and mixed-sex couples should be equal. We want to live in a Scotland where:
In the run-up to the Scottish Parliament elections, the SYP consulted with thousands of young people to create a Youth Manifesto for Scotland, ‘Change the Picture’. There were 42,804 responses from young people across Scotland; making it one of the largest youth consultations of its type in Scotland. Any statement that received support from over 50% of respondents was included in the final manifesto, which will shape the SYP’s policy and campaigning work over the next five years. Click here for more info on ‘Change the Picture’.
One of these statements was “all laws regarding homosexual relationships, whether male or female, should be equal to those of heterosexual relationships” which received strong support, with 74% of young people in agreement.
The most prominent example of the statement is marriage law. The issue of extending legal marriage to same-sex couples and civil partnerships to heterosexual couples has been gaining some traction in recent months with political support (see below). A number of other organisations are also campaigning for marriage equality, such as LGBT Youth Scotland’s ‘M.E. 2’ campaign.
At the SYP Sitting in June 2011, MSYPs voted for Marriage Equality to be the SYP’s national campaign until at least March 2012, with the possibility of extension following that date.
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 capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marrying - and that they are not of the same sex.
The 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.
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.
Overall, whilst many of the tax and legal benefits for those in a civil partnership are the same as for married couples, it’s seen in law as very much a technical arrangement – formally registering your partnership rather than getting married. More than 2,500 same sex couples in Scotland have so far chosen to register a civil partnership - many of these couples would have chosen to get married if the option was available.
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-sex marriage 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.
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. The USA has seen seven states making gay marriage legal - most recently New York - with many more considering or having adaptations of civil partnerships.