Quakers in Britain have welcomed the announcement from the Scottish government to legislate to allow same sex-marriage in Scotland, by way of both civil and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships.
East Lothian Quaker Phil Lucas said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government has stuck to its principles. This will allow same-sex couples to marry in their worshipping community.
“We can see no reason, religious or otherwise, why marriage and civil partnership should not be equally available to couples who have found love together and who wish to register their commitment in our meeting houses or other religious premises where this is acceptable.
“For Quakers this is an issue of religious freedom but we do not wish to impose this law on others. While protection for religious bodies already exists in the Equality Act 2010, we can see the need to reassure those religious groups which oppose this move and particularly individual religious celebrants where their religious body has decided to take part in same sex marriage and the registration of civil partnership but the individual celebrant does not wish to do so.”
The Scottish government intends to work with the UK Government to secure agreement to such an amendment to equality law before formally introducing a Bill to parliament, with the intention of having it enacted before a change of the law comes into force.
Quakers have been invited to take part in a focused consultation with stakeholders to inform the drafting of legislation and guidance.