The fight for Equal Marriage in Scotland was brought back to my attention from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Network in the UK. They are asking to bring our enthusiasm for equal rights, expressed here at home, to their shores by signing the petition by March 6th that will urge the Scottish parliament to discuss same-sex relationships.
Here is their email:
"This petition is different from many others. With enough support, the Parliamentary Committee will hold hearings on it, invite responses from different groups, and will make concrete recommendations to the Scottish Government.
"Without any Members of the Scottish Parliament as yet willing to introduce a same sex marriage bill, this is currently the only way to get the issue onto the agenda in a country where many people, both gay and straight, believe that the fight equality is over since the introduction of separate but equal Civil Partnerships.
"With the UK Government opposing full marriage rights, your support to this petition is vital. The great thing about it is that anyone from anywhere in the world can put their name to it, and that will be counted as equal to any Scottish persons’ signature. If you can not only sign this, but activate the same strength of numbers that have fought for marriage equality across US, then gay rights opponents in Scotland don’t stand a chance.
"The previous Administration in Scotland, the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition of Jack McConnell, refused to even legislate for Civil Partnerships in 2004, having been so burned by the massive homophobic outcry over their successful repeal of Section 28, the old Thatcherite law that banned discussion of homosexuality in schools.
"Then Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson stated in 2004 that laws to give same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexuals was not "an immediate priority for the overwhelming majority of Scotland's people".
"Equality is a priority for all. There is however a real danger that the current minority government of the Scottish National Party will treat this exactly the same way. Their 2007 election campaign was funded by the same man who bankrolled the homophobic campaign over Section 28, Stagecoach boss Brian Souter. Scotland has a strong Catholic church and is generally more socially conservative than England or Wales, yet the Scottish Parliament
has equality as one of its founding values.
"Scotland has been willing in the past to make a moral point in the face of opposition from the rest of the UK. It was the first to ban hunting of foxes, and the first to ban smoking in public places, with the rest of Britain following shortly afterward.
"It can be the same with marriage equality. If we can get enough backing to show that this is a real, live issue that ignites passion among Scots and those from across the plant, then those opposing this will be forced to defend the notion that separate but equal is equal.
"But we cannot do this without the support, advice and solidarity with all those others around the world who have been fighting long and hard for Marriage Equality. We have been truly inspired by the movement for Marriage Equality in America, it made us realise that we too have the right to be treated as equals by our government and with your help, we can."
Please sign the petition here by March 6th.
Thanks to the amazing Queers United blog, I've been made aware of a petition to get the Scottish government to recognize same-sex marriage. Read Queer's United post on what you can do to expand marriage equality beyond our borders.