Posted by alangdundee on 22nd February 2009
A petition has been launched for the right for Same Sex Marriages.
[blockquote]Petition by Nick Henderson, on behalf of LGBT Network, calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 to allow two persons of the same sex to register a civil marriage and a religious marriage if the relevant religious body consents.[/blockquote]
European and Scottish political leaders, international marriage equality groups and church leaders all back same sex marriage petition.
West Midlands Labour MEP Michael Cashman today signed the petition in the Scottish Parliament calling for same sex couples to have the right to register a civil marriage, or a religious marriage should the relevant religious institution consents.
His support comes as the petition gathers momentum, attracting support from Scottish Labour MEP Catherine Stihler, London Green MEP Jean Lambert, Scottish Labour MSP George Foulkes, and the leader of the Labour Group in the European Parliament, Glenis Willmott MEP.
Support from across the world has been pouring in, as groups such as Australian Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality Ireland, and the US movement Blue4Equality all back and publicise the campaign.
Equal Marriage Rights, the group set up by Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger, litigants in the High Court same sex marriage case Wilkinson v. Kitzinger, and Peter Tatchell’s OutRage! have also publicised and supported the petition.
The Reverend John Penman, from Christ Church Falkirk, and the Reverend Ruth Innes from St Marks Portobello have added their names to the petition.
The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Marys Episcopal Church in Glasgow said:
This is something which directly affects my ministry. The existence of Civil Partnerships has been a big step forward. They have given a whole new set of images to society of what gay people are like and that has been great.
However, Civil Partnership is not Marriage and that inequality is discrimination. This is important – I’ve had people approach me asking me whether I can do a legal ceremony for them and I’ve had to say that though I’d like to, the law doesn’t allow me to do so. Indeed, the current law specifically forbids people from registering Civil Partnerships in church or using any religious expression in their legal ceremony. What that does, is imply that gay people can never be as holy as straight people. And the ugly consequences of that kind of prejudice are visible in all kinds of places, not least in the suicide statistics of young men.
The LGBT Network will be visiting the LGBT group of St Marys church on Monday and speaking to the LGBT Society of St Andrews University to promote grassroots support of the petition.