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Scottish Liberal Democrats Back Equal Marriage

March 8, 2010 8:00 PM
Kieran Leach, Vice-President of Campaigns for Liberal Youth Scotland

Kieran Leach presenting the motion for Equal Marriage at the Scottish Liberal Democrats conference

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have come out in favour of equal marriage, following a debate at their Spring Conference in Perth this weekend. This follows Nick Clegg's call for Marriage Without Borders.

The motion was submitted by Kieran Leach, Vice-President of Campaigns for Liberal Youth Scotland, who said "If committed relationships between those of the same sex are to be held in the same esteem as between those of mixed sex then they must be recognised as equal and not separate in law."

Following a vote by members, the party's policy will be for both marriage and civil partnership to be open to couples regardless of gender, with the option for existing civil partnerships to be amended to marriage if so desired.

They would also end the rule that affects trans people, forcing them to dissolve one partnership and re-marry if they apply for a gender recognition certificate.

The motion as passed: SP7 Equal marriage in Scotland

Conference notes that at present no two individuals of the same sex may enter a marriage in Scotland, and that no two individuals of mixed sex may enter a civil partnership.

Conference further notes that under the terms of the Gender Recognition Act (2004) any individual seeking gender recognition or to change their gender as legally recognised cannot remain in a marriage or civil partnership.

Conference believes that a relationship between any two individuals, regardless of gender, is as valid and worthy of recognition as any other.

Conference further believes that to grant rights to one group of individuals that are denied to others based on sexual orientation and gender is unconscionable.

Conference believes that the current arrangements with regards to marriage are discriminatory in nature.

Conference calls on the Scottish Government to:

i. Open both marriage and civil partnerships to both same-sex and mixed-sex couples.

ii. To allow approved religious and humanist celebrants to legally solemnise and celebrate same-sex marriages and civil partnerships where they wish to do so.

iii. To allow those individuals who wish to seek gender recognition or change their legally recognised gender to remain in their current marriage or civil partnership where they wish to do so.

iv. to establish a simple and straightforward process by which an existing civil partnership may be converted into a marriage, if the partners wish and if all other legal requirements of marriage are satisfied, without the need to dissolve the civil partnership.