Opponents of gay marriage hold meeting at St Combs

A group opposing marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples held a campaign meeting at a St Combs hotel recently.

Around 20 supporters of ‘Scotland for Marriage’, who would like to retain the traditional definition of marriage, attended the gathering at the Tufted Duck Hotel.

Scotland For Marriage claims that if same sex marriage laws are passed the consequences for churches and individuals will be “catastrophic” and that basic civil liberties will be removed unless there are major changes to legislation at Westminster.

Commenting, a spokesman for Scotland for Marriage said: “Ordinary people - teachers, parents, foster carers and those who work in the public sector - who back the traditional definition of marriage face being treated like outcasts, disciplined or sacked from their jobs.”

“Scottish Government have said they will protect civil liberties of those who oppose plans to redefine the law but for that to happen legal protections have to go beyond just churches and marriage celebrants.

“Teachers, parents, school kids, NHS chaplains, and others in everyday life must not be penalised for backing traditional marriage.

“The Scottish Government promised to protect free speech and other civil liberties, including in schools.

“If same sex marriage is allowed without the necessary safeguards written into law there will be enormous threats to the charitable status of churches and the civil liberties of ordinary people. We need a number of changes in law before the necessary protections to churches and individuals are met for Mr Salmond to keep his word.”

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson commented: “I’ve met with a range of people with a range of views on the subject across my constituency.

“Without exception, views from all shades of opinion have been expressed in a reasoned and respectful manner. This is an issue of conscience and I continue to listen to the views expressed by all of my constituents.

“While all parties in the Scottish Parliament - Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour and SNP - are behind change, this is not a party political or partisan matter, and there are a range of views within all parties.

“I’m minded to support the Bill subject to safeguards being included that no organisation or individual should be compelled to conduct marriages or civil partnerships against their conscience or religious beliefs.”

Recent opinion polls have shown majority support for allowing gay couples the right to marry.

In addition, two-thirds of MSPs have now signed the ‘Equal Marriage Pledge’ in favour of gay marriage, according to the Equal Marriage website. They include First Minister Alex Salmond and the leaders of all four opposition parties.

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