We know that separate is not equal. Yet we still have a legal system that provides one institution for mixed sex couples and another for same sex couples.
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Currently, marriage is only available to couples of different gender, and civil partnerships to those of the same gender. But they are not the same – civil partnerships are not well recognised abroad, while the legal status of marriage is loosely defined by comparison. Couples in a civil partnership are not legally husband and husband or wife and wife, while marriage has religious overtones that some may wish to avoid. Neither system is perfect, but they don’t need to be – we just have to give people the choice.
The current system can be monumentally cruel. Married couples where one partner is transitioning gender are forced by the law to divorce, regardless of their wishes. What could be crueller than forcing marital breakup on a loving couple?
The power to change this lies clearly in the remit of the Scottish Parliament – this is an issue of fairness and equality we should be leading on, not falling behind the rest of the UK. These changes have cross-party support, are backed by numerous equality and religious groups and are supported by a majority of the Scottish public.
There is absolutely no excuse not to implement equal marriage in this parliament.
Our letter has now been delivered to MSPs with hundreds of signatures. Thankyou to everyone who signed! You’ve helped us build a solid block of MSPs in favour of marriage equality. We’ll continue to campaign on this until the job is done.