We Won A Thing: Scotland Legalises Same-Sex Marriage, Braces For Bad Weather

Scotland is famous for many things, including Alan Cumming, Alan Cumming’s accent, and Alan Cumming’s accent in a kilt.

HEY it's that guy from The L Word! via Bletherskite

HEY it’s that guy from The L Word!

And now! Now Scotland can also proudly declare itself the 17th(-ish) country to tell its rainbow-flavoured citizens, “Go forth and marry the f*ck outta each other, queermos.” Today, the Parliament passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill with an overwhelming majority (105 to 18) as MSPs were given a free vote unconstrained by party loyalties.

I'm not sure what's going on here but I like it. via Reuters

I’m not sure what’s going on here but I like it.
via Reuters

In our UK LGBT Politics Crash Course, we highlighted three areas of concern with regard to the England and Wales Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act. Here’s how Scotland fares on the same scorecard:

  • Transphobia: No spousal veto for Scotland! With the hard work of the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance, MSPs voted unanimously to remove the clause that required married trans* people to obtain the permission of their spouse to have their gender legally recognised.
  • Religious Exemptions: As in England and Wales, religious bodies can “opt in” to perform same-sex wedding rites (the Quakers, Buddhists and Pagan Federation have said they will), and an amendment to the Equality Act 2010 has been agreed upon to ensure no “persons who play an integral part in the religious or belief [i.e. not commercial] aspects of the marriage or civil partnership” can be punished for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. The Scottish Catholic Church and Church of Scotland have opposed this legislation every step of the way and have no plans to conduct same-sex marriages, but there is no legal ban barring them from doing so as is currently in place for the Church of England and Church in Wales.
  • Neoliberalism: Sorry, radiqueers, our time is yet to come.

The next step lies in debating whether civil partnerships (currently a UK-level policy, unless Scotland gains independence in September this year) should be open to opposite-sex couples as well. In the meantime, go forth and marry the f*ck outta each other, queermos.

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Politiqueer, student and future cubicle drone-person fond of trees, bicycles, and strawberry sponge cake. Abuses en-dashes. Undecided about the Oxford comma. Follow her on Twitter or her occasionally updated blog.

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18 Comments

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    Nice one Scotland, great news, I only hope that when Ireland holds it’s referendum to change the definition of marriage in it’s constitution can follow suit in such an overwhelming way!
    The wonderful people here at Autostraddle may or may not be aware of whats going on in Ireland but it seems those who have always lobbied against equal marriage and who were called out for being homophobes have stifled the debate because they are offened at being called homophobes, even though it is clear to all and sundry that they are in fact homephobic!
    It seems now the debate has stalled around who gets to define homephobia in a rather neat way that prevents any forward movement on the debate for equal marriage!
    This speech by the drag queen, Miss Panti has been doing the rounds and i’m just going to leave it here……
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXayhUzWnl0

    There is a lot more to this story than i can express here but maybe in 2015 Ireland will win a thing!!

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      For some reason, I really want to see this posted on Autostraddle. I almost can’t believe how the whole thing has snowballed… the initial interview and supposed defamation almost doesn’t matter in comparison to the debate that has sprung up in it’s wake.

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        Yes i felt the same, especially given the fact that geographically Ireland and Scotland are so close and I guess culturally we wouldn’t be too dissimilar yet the the contrast between whats going on is astounding.
        Even in Ireland I’m shocked by how many people are not aware of whats going on so I wouldnt be too surprised if the rest of the world was still catching up!
        I didnt really want to drag down a positive piece but the more momentum this ‘debate’ gets the better in my opinion!

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