We represent majority in same sex marriage row

September 13, 2013

In response to the Church of Scotland’s concern that it may choose to stop celebrating marriage in the future, Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) says, “our doors are always open”.

The charity, which is the third largest provider of weddings in Scotland, yesterday made a formal submission in support of the Equal Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill to the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

The HSS says, “it is clear there is consistent public support for
same-sex marriage across Scotland, and that the bill contains sufficient
protection for organisations that do not wish to provide it. Even for
those churches which choose to opt in, there is no obligation on any
individual ­celebrant of that body to take part. In addition, the
UK-wide Equality Act is being changed at Westminster to protect
religious celebrants from court actions if they refuse to take part in
same-sex ceremonies”.

Alongside the HSS, Amnesty
International, the Scottish Youth Parliament and the United Reform
Church are among the many organisations that support equal marriage.

HSS
Spokesperson Ross Wright said ” We are confident that MSPs will do the
right thing, that the Equal Opportunities Committee will support
equality and we look forward to helping same sex couples celebrate their
marriages when the Bill becomes law.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

• Humanist weddings became legal in June 2005. In 2010, they became the 3rd most popular form of marriage in Scotland

In recognition of this, in December 2012, the Scottish Government
proposed the creation of a third category of marriage called ‘belief’
marriage
• http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20869899

In 2011, the last year for which official figures are available, 2,486
couples chose to have a humanist wedding, up from just 82 in 2005

Distinguished supporters of the society include Richard Dawkins, Stephen
Fry and novelist Christopher Brookmyre, who is also the society’s
president.

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