The Law is an Ass Bandit

By DeusExMacintosh

Scotland to legalise same-sex marriage

Scotland could become the first part of the UK to introduce gay marriage after the SNP government announced plans to make the change.

Ministers confirmed they would bring forward a bill on the issue, indicating the earliest ceremonies could take place by the start of 2015.

Political leaders, equality organisations and some faith groups welcomed introducing same-sex marriage. But it was strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland.

The announcement was made in the wake of a government consultation which produced a record 77,508 responses.

Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships and the Holyrood government has insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.

The Scottish government said;

  • it would work with UK ministers to amend equality laws to protect celebrants from legal or disciplinary action if they refuse to take part or speak out against same-sex ceremonies.
  • a bill would be brought forward to the Scottish Parliament later this year to bring in the change.

Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – we believe that this is the right thing to do.

BBC News


  1. kvd
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    That’s a good development, and I hope it succeeds without too much artificial polarisation. It would be good at some stage to get commentary upon just how this is to be implemented in the legal sense.

    I mean, it’s ok for me to be in favour of such a change, but I’m wondering just how, in statute, such a change will be implemented?

  2. Posted July 26, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    In Scotland it’s absurdly simple because of the Roman Law inheritance. Marriage comes under “private law” which is essentially contractual agreements between private individuals, and this is protected under the Acts of Union. Who you want to marry and their gender is entirely up to the signatory parties (as is who does the dishes/cooking/childcare/mowing – Roman law is the original source of the Jewish ketubah system). It just has to be facilitated.

    Only in England and Wales do you require an amendment of the Equality Act because marriage falls under “Public Law” which is then an agreement between individuals and the State. Scotland could go ahead with same-sex marriage as soon as the Scottish parliament at Holyrood re-sits after the summer break. Technically we don’t need to wait for England and Wales and I expect the only reason the SNP has hiccupped on the issue was that a major funder (who is unfortunately also a major fundie) is rumoured to have threatened to turn off the water in the run up to the Independence referendum if same-sex marriage goes through next session as planned.

    No I am not a lawyer. My flatmate is and law appears to be contagious.

  3. Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    the chronic HYPOCRISY of the church of rome continues to ASTOUND gentle minds.
    Thank you DeuxMac flatmate for this bit:

    ‘because of the Roman Law inheritance. Marriage comes under “private law” which is essentially contractual agreements between private individuals, and this is protected under the Act of Union’ – am glad to hear it.

    I do love Scotland The Brave and the single malts of The Fiddoch at the town of Mortlach from whence my Milne ancestors departed in 1851 for Adelaide.

  4. Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Who really cares anymore. Gay or not gay, oh OK I suppose its better if such sordid gay activities are hidden within legality instead of taking place in public lavatories.
    An unwed Hetero couple with four offspring whom I know have shared the same bed for 62 years, beating my legal hetero marriage of only 59.15 years. and five sprogs.
    I hope you notice the dot between the last figure.

  5. Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    ‘sordid’? ‘lavatories’? jeepers vest – I hope that was an attempt at some kind of irony.
    the same sex couples I know all have beautiful art and antique filled homes and cashmere blankets on their beds FFS

  6. kvd
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] like+1. (tho’ what Free Form Skiing has to do with it, I’m not really sure – but anyone who likes single malts is to be trusted imo)

  7. Posted July 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Once again, we have recourse to the ‘squick’. It’s a very useful concept:

  8. Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Who really cares anymore. Gay or not gay, oh OK I suppose its better if such sordid gay activities are hidden within legality instead of taking place in public lavatories.

    Or catholic seminaries, eh Vest? Let’s try and keep the conversation above the “jobbie jabbing” level please, people. Theological theorising about the non-contradictory nature of being against both adultery AND same-sex marriage will however be entertained.

  9. kvd
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Thus proving Omar Khyyam was not a blogger 😉

  10. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Vest, I’ve put you in the mod filter for being persistently rude. When you can discuss the issue – which you obviously feel strongly about – without calling people names your arguments and observations will be allowed through. Until then, they won’t.

    The idea that homosexuality is “sordid” can have a generational as well as a religious basis, but since legalisation in the 60’s most younger people without strong religious views tend not to accept your assertion that it is wrong or unnatural. It’s just the way they were brought up, like it’s just the way you were brought up. If you think things should go back to the 50’s, what’s your rationale? I personally have trouble accepting arguments when they’re based on religious-derived values because it risks empowering people to impose their religion onto those who don’t share it.

    As a Quaker, I have no issue with same-sex marriage conflicting with my own religion, but I’m also not expecting the cardinal to marry gay couples in his churches any more than the law currently expects him to marry divorcees in them. Theoretically it might be possible to use the Equalities legislation to bring a suit against the Catholic church in England and Wales for this refusal but that’s also theoretically possible for divorcees who wanted to make a political point about the validity of their own remarriages against the church hierarchy.

    Never happened so far, nor is it ever likely to. Not even relevant in Scotland, so the danger is what precisely?

  11. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I am a commited athiest, however, i do not concern myself about religion which is 100% bunkum. The whole spectrum of the faith Industry world wide controls the believers of all faiths through a program of unsubstantiated truths or downright lies and FEAR of the unknown. simply trickery.
    These so called eccleslastical organizations should be totally disconnected from scientific and logical thinking and other practical issues concerning the welfare of all by the electorate of any c
    I am a cricket follower but I dont wish to see sport of any kind dominating the way people wish to liveommunity or country as a whole..
    I must go now I have to attend the funeral of a colleague at St Johns Church at Raymond terrace NSW OZ at 1430, by request.


  12. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Apoliges for bad type I have severe Athritus in both hands. and have the shakes being an 86 year old geezer.

  13. Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Dressed in the accepted Naval retirees code od dress with decorations, I attended a CofE funeral service at 1430 today, knew the drill off by heart.. Will get the same when I coofer, er indoors is a believer.
    Strange, but five years of having religion thrust down ,my throat at boarding school plus boozy confirmation, reprimanded for not attending Church parade, would qualify me as a master mind in theology. However Kant and Einstein plus Darwin have taught me the truth.
    The only funny thing to happen today so far, was when the new cats hair stood on end and fled down the stairs making peculier noises on seing me dressed in my regalia.
    I still have my ancient pussers issue bible circa 1942. So I shall Exorcise the cat soonest.
    Happy bath night to pommies for tomorrow remember no farting in the bath the wife and kids have to use it too.

  14. Posted July 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Sorry you lost your friend, Vest. Don’t worry about the typing. I had my hands electrocuted at outpatients the other morning for neurological “tests” and they’re still not working right either. If the shakes are really cramping your style I can recommend propranalol – it’s the stuff sporting shooters use to cheat and what I find really useful to control hand tremors (and I’m just a little girlie in comparison).

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