Scottish government’s “free vote” to decide on same-sex marriage laws

Written on:July 18, 2023
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Will it..won't it? World awaits Scotland's decision on same sex marriage policy

The Scottish government dismissed the idea of a referendum on the proposal to introduce a policy on same-sex marriage, as the cabinet ministers viewed the matter as an “issue of conscience not constitution.”

The members, who met in Edinburgh to discuss the burning issue of legalising same-sex marriages said, “Given that if a bill is brought forward it should in the view of the Scottish government be determined by a free vote, cabinet has concluded that a referendum would not be appropriate.”

“Cabinet has now asked a cabinet sub-committee, led by the deputy first minister, to further examine some particular issues of detail before a final decision is reached”, the ministers said. They further said that they remain committed to declaring the decision by the end of the month.

Gay rights charity Stonewall Scotland welcomed the decision not to hold a referendum. The charity’s director, Colin Macfarlane, said, “While we are disappointed that no decision was made today we are pleased that the Scottish government has confirmed that a referendum has been ruled out.”

Referring to the delay in decion-making, The Equality Network and the Scottish Youth Parliament both expressed disappointment while Labour said the SNP had displayed weak leadership. Ministers had already delayed making a decision from the spring, saying they needed more time to consider the large number of responses to the public consultation on the issue.

If the proposal is implemented, Scotland will become the first part of the UK, to introduce policy on same-sex marriages, while provoking strong opposition from the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland.

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