THE Scottish government’s decision to legalise same sex marriage may have been met with opposition from some church leaders, but a number of southside politicians have voiced their support.
Speaking on behalf of the Scottish government in her role as deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We believe that in a country that aspires to be an equal and tolerant society, as we do in Scotland, then this is the right thing to do.
“However, we recognise and respect the concerns that some have expressed, in particular the concerns that have been expressed by the churches. “We are determined that the legislation which is brought forward will include protection for freedom of speech and freedom of religion”.
Eastwood’s Labour MSP Ken Macintosh also supports the proposals.
He told The Extra: “For all couples who wish to make the commitment of marriage we should be offering support, not putting barriers in their way.
“However, I certainly do not support churches or other religious groups being forced to carry out same sex marriages if they do not wish to do so”.
West of Scotland Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw is also backing the decision.
He added: “There will be strongly held views on this issue. I am content for those faiths which wish to perform same sex marriages to be allowed to do so but will oppose any attempt to compel any faith to make this possible.
“I will study any future legislation carefully to ensure that it meets the above criteria before deciding whether or not it will enjoy my support or otherwise”.
SNP’s Glasgow Cathcart MSP James Dornan has also welcomed the news.
He said: “This is a brave decision by the Scottish government and a huge step forward for equality in Scotland.
“Equal marriage has been one of the hottest political topics since I was elected in 2011 and I have always been of the opinion that equal marriage is the right and proper thing for Scotland.
“This will be a proud day for many people in my constituency and right across the country. I am delighted for all those who will benefit from this progressive piece of legislation”.
The Roman Catholic church, backed by senior Muslim organisations and evangelical and presbyterian churches, led a campaign against the proposals.
As a result of the decision, the earliest same-sex marriage could be held in 2015.