A huge step forward for marriage reform

By Press Office
November 21, 2013

Commenting on the overwhelming first stage vote for the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament on 20 November 2013, Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, who is based in Edinburgh, said:

"This is a historic moment. Ekklesia supported the proposal to to introduce same sex marriage and religious and belief registration of civil partnership on theological as well as equal rights grounds in our consultation submission to the Scottish Government in March 2013.

"It is now clear that this legislation will go forward, and in the process we hope that many with continuing doubts and fears will gradually be won over to its fairness and appropriateness.

"There is, however, more work to be done. The Bill now goes back to the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee, who will consider amendments before MSPs vote on the final version of at stage three early in 2014.

"Ekklesia's overall preference in the long run would be to distinguish legal marriage, as a civil provision, from religious or belief blessings and recognition, as we set out in our 2006 paper, 'What Future for Marriage?'. This would avoid a great deal of conflict and confusion.

"But the vote by the Scottish Parliament last night, supported by people of specific faith and good faith, will be seen by many as a moment for celebration. It is clearly a huge step forward."

* Ekklesia's response to the Scottish government consultation on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18209

* Christians welcome vote for marriage equality: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19494

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.