Scottish Government Introduces Bill to Redefine Marriage

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
September 6, 2012|11:09 am

A leading Scottish politician has formally introduced a bill to rewrite the definition of marriage during the Scottish Government's new legislative session earlier this week.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, formally included the bill that would redefine traditional marriage between one man and one woman, much to the disappointment of supporters of traditional marriage.

Local reports indicate that while government officials have continued to push for this new definition of marriage, supporters of traditional marriage have vowed to fight the Bill "with every breath," and a solid two-thirds of the responses to the Scottish government's own consultation on this particular issue were stated to have been opposed to any change.

Despite heavy resistance, Salmond is determined to change the meaning of marriage, however.

"In promoting a fairer Scotland, we will legislate for equal rights. Our Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill will enable same-sex couples to get married, and will allow civil partnerships to be registered through a religious ceremony," he told The Christian Institute.

On Tuesday, the First Minister announced the plan to redefine traditional marriage, which was included in a series of 15 Bills. The legislation will be brought before the Scottish Parliament in next parliamentary year, but marriage advocates are stalwart in their defense of the institution.

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"We will continue to fight with every breath to preserve the existing definition of marriage and have prepared a concerted program of action designed to spearhead the growing opposition in the country," a spokesman for Scotland for Marriage, a pro-marriage campaign group, explained.

The government claims that amending the Equality Act will protect those who believe in traditional marriage, but Aidan O'Neill, a leading human rights lawyer, maintains that it will harm those the bill sets out to protect.

Various scenarios revealed that teachers who refuse to use storybooks about same-sex marriage because it conflicts with their religious beliefs could be dismissed and National Health Service chaplains who preach about traditional marriage in church could be disciplined under equality policies.

Church groups could be prevented from using community centers if their church refuses to conduct same-sex ceremonies.

 

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