More than half of Scots would support gay weddings

21 Oct 2010

By Katrine Bussey

More than half of Scots believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry.

An opinion poll carried out for the Scottish Green Party found that 58 per cent of people agreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married.

Only 19 per cent disagreed with the idea of same-sex weddings, according to research by opinion pollsters Angus Reid.

At present, gay and lesbian couples can enter into a civil partnership, but can not get married in the same way as heterosexual couples can.

However, Green MSP Patrick Harvie predicted that the situation could change within the next few years.

He has lodged a motion at Holyrood calling on the Scottish Government to "investigate the practical steps necessary to allow legislation in the next session of the Scottish Parliament to create equal marriage and partnership in Scotland".

The Glasgow MSP said: "Civil partnership was an important step forward, giving same-sex couples much the same legal rights and responsibilities as everyone else. But there have always been some people who want to portray those couples as second-class citizens and their relationships as less meaningful than marriage, or worthy of less respect from society."

However, he added: "Attitudes are changing rapidly. Nowadays almost everyone knows some gay or lesbian friends and family members, and by a margin of three to one Scots support couples who want to commit to each other in a gay marriage."

Mr Harvie argued: "Full legal equality for same-sex couples who want to marry and for mixed-sex couples who want civil partnership instead would be much more in keeping with this increasingly inclusive Scottish public opinion."

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