On 26 June 2013, the Scottish Government introduced the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament.
The proposals offer protections for religious bodies, individual celebrants and the Bill also makes it clear that freedom of speech is unaffected.
Under the plans, religious bodies who wish to perform same sex marriage will have to opt in. If a body does decide to perform same sex marriages, protection will also be in place for individual celebrants who consider such ceremonies to be contrary to their faith.
It was also confirmed that a review will be undertaken on the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in Scotland, driven by the need to consider the position on opposite sex civil partnership.
Following publication of the Bill, the Lord Advocated issued ‘same sex’ marriage opposition guidance to prosecutors stating: ‘Criticism of same sex marriage or homosexuality is not in itself an offence nor is the expression of religious views or the display of religious symbols’.
The Scottish Government published the ‘Consultation on the Draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill: Analysis of Written Responses’ on 27 June 2013. The responses from organisations were published separately.
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