Petition and Parliamentary Update

You’ll remember that I was going on about people signing a petition to allow gay couples the same access to marriage as straight couples. Here is the update on what happened when the petition was presented.

On Tuesday afternoon, the petition was heard by the Scottish Parliamentary Public Petitions Committee. There was cross party (Green, Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative, Nationalist) agreement to write to the Scottish Government asking them whether they would bring in legislation to amend the Marriage (Scotland) Act accordingly and requesting that, if the government refuses, to give reasons for its refusal. Various bodies will now also be consulted, including Scottish Inter Faith Council, Equality Network, Humanist Society of Scotland and the Pagan Federation (Scotland).

So, congratulations to the Petitioner, Nick Henderson for organising this, and to all those who helped gather the thousand or so signatures.

The official record is here.

In other news, Patrick Harvey’s hate crimes bill, the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill received unanimous approval at its first reading on Wednesday afternoon. This is an important piece of legislation which will ensure that that homophobic, transphobic and disability-related hate crime is taken as seriously as racist and religious hate crime.