Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill

Category: Civil Rights and Freedoms

1st July 2013

The Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee is seeking views on the provisions set out in the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, such as allowing the religious and belief registration of civil partnerships and enabling civil partnerships to change to marriage.

Views are also being sought on wider issues relating to the Bill such as freedom of speech.

From a children and young people's sector point of view there are a number of areas which may be considered relevant. These include:

  • Equal marriage is strongly supported by children and young people. 74% of young people supported the issue in the Scottish Youth Parliament's own consultation, similar to the levels of support from other surveys and polls. Young people themselves have chosen the issue as the priority campaign for both the Scottish Youth Parliament and LGBT Youth Scotland.
  • Equal marriage would remove one of the most significant remaining areas in law where a particular group can be discriminated against.
  • In particular, this will help tackle homophobic bullying against children and young people which remains worryingly prevalent.
  • Opponents of equal marriage are beginning to focus their attention on how the issue may be dealt with in schools and have suggested a concerning list of amendments, and there is concern that they could be raised during the Bill's passage as misguided attempts at compromise.

Respondents can either submit views via an online form or a send written response.

  • Visit the online form here.
  • Access the Bill (as introduced) and its accompanying documents here.

The deadline for responding is 23rd August 2013.

The Scottish Youth Parliament has been running a national priority campaign for equal marriage in Scotland since 2011 (Love Equally), selected by it's young Members.

If you are a children and young people's organisation and not able to respond to the Equal Opportunities Committee's call for evidence, but would be prepared to declare your support for the points made above, the Scottish Youth Parliament has drafted a joint letter to go to the Convener from supportive organisations. If your organisation would be prepared to add your support and would like to read a draft of the letter, please email Rob Gowans at: rob.g@syp.org.uk by Wednesday 21st August.

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