Preview of Stage One Debate: Marriage & Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill

19 Nov 2013

In anticipation of Wednesday’s debate on same sex marriage, John Mason has summarised his concerns about the Bill.  These focus primarily on whether or not there are adequate safeguards in place for denominations, individual celebrants (priests, ministers, etc), public sector workers, and other service providers.

Commenting ahead of the debate on Wednesday evening, John Mason MSP said:

“I am completely committed to equality for all people in a modern Scotland.  However, there is concern that this Bill will further marginalise religious people and others who do not agree with same sex marriage.  The Scottish and UK Governments may want to provide adequate safeguards but these can be trumped by ECHR.  Once same sex marriage is permitted, the fear is that churches and individuals will be dragged through the courts and forced to take part.  This is similar to what happened with adoption where initially it was permitted to place children with same sex couples but later it became compulsory for adoption agencies to do so.

“My hope is that we can have a reasonable debate tomorrow and speakers will not go to one extreme or the other.  I think it should be possible for MSPs to disagree with each other on a subject like this while still maintaining respect for each other’s position.”