Over in Great Britain there is something of a debate going on regarding fully legalizing same-sex marriage in that nation. So, outside Holyrood, LGBT rights campaigners have held a mock wedding to try and garner support for legalizing same-sex marriage. Right now, the United Kingdom allows for civil partnerships between same-sex couples, but not full same-sex marriage.
The Scottish Parliament’s party leaders, however, have signaled their support for changing the law to grant full marriage to same-sex couples. As the BBC notes “Although civil partnerships offer the same legal treatment as marriage across a range of matters, such as inheritance, pensions provision, life assurance, child maintenance, next of kin and immigration rights, they are still distinct from marriage.” In the UK, straight couples can opt for a civil or religious ceremony, but not lesbians and gays. The Quakers in the UK have signaled that they are for changing the law to allow them to hold religious ceremonies for lesbians and gays to get married. The Anglican and Catholic Churches both oppose this.
Reverend Jane Clarke, of the Metropolitan Community Church, held the mock wedding for Jaye and Ruth Richards-Hill. The couple were legally married in South Africa, which is the only African nation to allow same-sex marriage and the only African nation to grant lesbians and gay equality, at least in theory. The couple issued a statement saying “All we want is equality; the same rights as everyone else. The Scottish government must now lift the ban on same-sex marriage, or explain to couples like us why we deserve to be treated like second-class citizens.”
The women also delivered a 10,000-signature petition and letter to First Minister Alex Salmond which urges the Scottish government to announce legislation legalizing same-sex marriage without delay.
After lengthy study, the Scottish Nationalist Party noted that most Scots seem to favor legalizing same-sex marriage so long as no religious institution be forced to conduct the ceremonies if they oppose same-sex marriage.