MSP’s opposition to same sex marriage bill

MSP Margaret Mitchell
MSP Margaret Mitchell

MSP Margaret Mitchell has spoken out against new legislation which clears the way for same sex weddings to be carried out in Scotland.

Earlier this month the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly passed the the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill by 105 votes to 18.

But Mrs Mitchell, Conservative list MSP for Central Scotland, was among the 18 who voted against - and said she believes the new law could prevent people from being able to express their religious belief.

She said some of the proposed amendments, which were all voted down, could have helped to allay some of these fears and accommodate the different but equally passionate and legitimate views held by those on the losing side of the debate.

Mrs Mitchell added: “There is no doubt that this bill sets in competition two equality strands; the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation and the right to religious belief.

“Equality is about fairness, it is not about making everyone the same.

“There is nothing fair in causing those who are opposed to same sex marriage to feel apprehensive about expressing this view.

“In a democratic society, the ability of the minority to feel free to air their view is fundamental.

“The bill undermines that ability and in doing so has not achieved fairness or equality but has instead elevated the beliefs of one group of society to the detriment of another.

“Had this lack of empathy prevailed then the 2004 Civil Partnership Act would not have been passed.”