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August 7, 2011

IconSNP politicians attack gay marriage

A Member of the Scottish Parliament has drawn both support and criticism from his Nationalist colleagues after he tabled a motion stating that: “No person or organisation should be forced to be involved in or to approve of same-sex marriages.”

SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston John Mason has been backed by a number of party colleagues, including Dennis Robertson (Aberdeenshire West), Gil Paterson (Clydebank), Richard Lyle (Central Scotland), and Bill Walker (Dunfermline).

“There are relationships called civil partnerships that can be between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, but it is my view that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman,” said Walker.

However, openly gay SNP MEP Alyn Smith declared the motion’s backers to be “small, mean, angry bigots” today in a piece for Scotland on Sunday.

“I don’t respect, and I won’t tolerate, discrimination and neither does our society, wrote Smith. “Our society has collectively decided that we are an egalitarian and respectful bunch, that everyone is equal before our democratically agreed law and that everyone will respect the legal rights of others”.

The motion has also been attacked by SNP MP Pete Wishart. “John Mason’s nasty little anti-gay marriage motion is just wrong, and really disappointed that other colleagues have signed it,” he tweeted.

MSPs from the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties condemned the motion and reiterated their support for equal marriage rights.

A spokesperson for the SNP administration confirmed earlier this week that a consultation on gay marriage is due to take place during 2011. “The Scottish Government is committed to holding a consultation on the issues of same-sex marriage and civil partnership, with the process beginning later this year,” she said.

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Ruth Pearce

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