LGBT Network: Petition to the Scottish Parliament

24 Feb

These are the last couple of days of my SSM. In spite of how utterly crap the SSM itself has been (and I will elaborate on all of my vague grumbles once it’s actually over, I promise), I’m having quite good fun with the essay. It’s been a long time since I wrote a proper literature review that I could really get stuck into. But next week heralds the return of normality and PBL, and I’m ridiculously happy at the thought of being a medic again.

I’m going to take a minute now to use my blog as a platform for furthering my political agenda.

This week, I’ve been campaigning around the university on behalf of the LGBT Network Europe.

We are asking the Scottish Parliament to consider amending the Marriage (Scotland) Act so that same-sex couples will be allowed to register a civil marriage, or, if they wish and there is agreement by the relevant faith group, a religious marriage.

We believe this to be important for a number of reasons:

+ there are over 70 legal rights that married couples have and civil partnered couples do not — these include but are not limited to the right to adopt children as a couple, the right of a step-parent to ask for and be granted parental rights and responsibilities over their partner’s biological children, and the right to be considered jointly for tax purposes

+ there are many gay men and women of faith and there are a growing number of faith groups that would happily marry these people, but, as the law stands, same-sex couples are not entitled to a marriage and civil partnerships are not legal if they are performed by a minister, in a religious building, or include any religious references within the ceremony

+ if a same-sex couple has registered a civil marriage in Spain or Holland, where there is no difference between a marriage registered by a same-sex couple and one registered by a heterosexual couple, and then comes to Scotland, their relationship is downgraded to a civil partnership

Because of the last point, all of this is going to eventually lead to a court case that will be heard in Brussels, but we know that it could be up to three years before it gets there, and we want the Scottish Parliament to look at it before that. It is the first in what will be many, many steps — all we’re asking for at the moment is for them to look at it, and think about it, and have an open debate about why it can be done or why it can’t be done.

The petition closes next week.

It can be signed here on the Scottish Parliament website, and, crucially, you do not have to live in Scotland to sign it.

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Posted by on February 24, 2009 in Blog


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