Most Scots support same-sex marriage, report claims

Patrick Harvie: 'Attitudes are changing rapidly'.
Patrick Harvie: 'Attitudes are changing rapidly'.© STV

More than half of Scots believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry, figures have revealed.

An opinion poll carried out for the Scottish Green Party found that 58% of people agreed that same sex couples should be allowed to get married.

Of those surveyed, 19% disagreed with the idea of same sex weddings, according to research by opinion pollsters Angus Reid, with the remaining 23% neither agreeing nor disagreeing.

At the moment gay and lesbian couples can enter into a civil partnership, but can not get married in the same way as heterosexual couples can.

However Green MSP Patrick Harvie predicted that changing attitudes meant the situation could change within the next term of the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Harvie has lodged a motion at Holyrood calling on the Scottish Government to "investigate the practical steps necessary to allow legislation in the next session of the Scottish Parliament to create equal marriage and partnership in Scotland".

The Glasgow MSP said: "Civil partnership was an important step forward, giving same-sex couples much the same legal rights and responsibilities as everyone else.

"But there have always been some people who want to portray those couples as second-class citizens and their relationships as less meaningful than marriage, or worthy of less respect from society."

However, he added: "Attitudes are changing rapidly, and with each step towards equality more people feel able to be open about who they love.

"Nowadays almost everyone knows some gay or lesbian friends and family members, and by a margin of three to one Scots support couples who want to commit to each other in a gay marriage."

Mr Harvie argued: "Full legal equality for same-sex couples who want to marry and for mixed-sex couples who want civil partnership instead would be much more in keeping with this increasingly inclusive Scottish public opinion.

"I believe there are enough supporters in all political parties for it to be changed during the next Parliament. Soon we will look back on the current arrangement with the same disbelief young Americans have when they find out there used to be a ban on inter-racial marriage."

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