We are very happy to report that the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee has today recommended that the Parliament approves the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill at stage 1. The recommendation is in the Committee’s stage 1 report to the Parliament.
The report concludes four months of evidence taking and consideration by the Committee. The Committee’s report also recommends the inclusion in the bill of amendments proposed by the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance, including:
- That the spousal veto for gender recognition be removed
- That couples in a foreign civil partnership should be able to marry in Scotland
- That there should be an option of gender-neutral wording in mixed-sex marriage ceremonies, where the body conducting the ceremony agrees
- That long-term transitioned people should be able to apply for gender recognition with simpler evidence requirements
On our final proposed amendment, that the minimum age for applying for gender recognition should be reduced from 18 to 16 (the same as the minimum age for marriage), the Committee asks the Scottish Government to provide a detailed response.
The next stage for the bill will be the stage 1 debate and vote in the whole Parliament. That is expected to be in the week after next (week starting 18 Nov). This is a crucial vote on the principles of the bill: if MSPs vote against, the bill is scrapped.
Please therefore contact your MSPs in the next few days (even if you have in the past) to urge them to vote for the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill. You can do that by choosing option 1 here: www.equalmarriage.org.uk/itstime