Today, 4th February 2014, is an historic day in Scotland, because today the Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage, or more colloquially for "equal marriage". The negative amendments proposed for the 3rd reading of the Bill (formally known as the "Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill") were all rejected and the Bill, once it has been given Royal Assent, will become law.
With this vote, Scotland becomes the 17th country in the world to legislate for same-sex marriage.
Unfortunately the Northern Ireland Assembly has not so far proposed similar legislation for Northern Ireland and from what I can gather has no current plans to do so, but at least in the other three parts of the United Kingdom (England, Wales and now Scotland) this welcome legislation is now almost in place - Royal Assent has already happened for the England and Wales legislation and I expect similar Royal Assent will be granted for Scotland quite soon. I mention Northern Ireland not to be negative on this joyous day, but simply to highlight that the job is not yet finished and that efforts must continue to ensure that all parts of the UK legislate for equality.
* - Once I have full details of the "105 for / 18 against" votes I will add an update at the end with relevant information.
- Equality Network: Scotland Legalises Same Sex Marriage;
- BBC: "Scotland's same-sex marriage bill is passed"
UPDATE (Tuesday 4FEB2014 22.35 CET) I now have full voting information for today's vote in the Scottish Parliament - please see full details here. The 18 who voted against the Bill were as follows:
Dr Alasdair Allan (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
Gavin Brown (Lothian) (Con)
Roseanna Cunningham (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
Fergus Ewing (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Alex Johnstone (North East Scotland) (Con)
Richard Lyle (Central Scotland) (SNP)
Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) (SNP)
John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Michael McMahon (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
Siobhan McMahon (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)
Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con)
Elaine Smith (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Dave Thompson (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
(SNP - 7, Conservatives - 8, Labour - 3)
- seemingly there were 6 out of 129 MSPs who did not vote or who abstained;
- see some reactions to the vote here.