Scotland votes to legalise same-sex marriage
Scotland has becomes the 17th country to allow same-sex marriage joining England with laws allowing same-sex marriage.
The legislation, passed last week in a vote of 105 to 18, allows civil marriage ceremonies in any place agreed between the couple and the registrar, other than religious premises. Scotland becomes the 17th country to allow same-sex marriage.
Health secretary Alex Neil said it was “right that same-sex couples should be able to freely express their love and commitment to each other through getting married.
“Marriage is about love, and that has always been at the heart of this issue,” he said.
LGBT rights advocates welcomed the vote, calling it a milestone LGBT equality in Scotland.
“This is a profoundly emotional moment for many people who grew up in a country where being gay was still a criminal offence until 1980,” Equality Network policy coordinator Tom French said.
“Scotland can be proud that we now have one of the most progressive equal marriage bills in the world, and that we've sent out a strong message about the kind of country we are.”
The move was opposed by religious groups including the Scottish Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Attempts to amend the bill to add extra protections for religious celebrants opposing the law were voted down.
Same-sex weddings in Scotland could take place as early as October.