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Scotland becomes latest country to legalise same-sex marriage

This means that marriage equality will soon be in place across Great Britain.

Jaye (left) and Ruth Richard-Hill from Glasgow, who were
Jaye (left) and Ruth Richard-Hill from Glasgow, who were "married" in a mock ceremony held as part of "final push" rally for equal marriage back in 2012.
Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Image

SCOTLAND HAS BECOME the latest country to legalise same-sex marriage, meaning that all of Great Britain will soon allow lesbian and gay couples equal access to marriage.

The Scottish Parliament passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill tonight by 105 votes to 18.

Ministers were allowed to have a free vote on the issue.

Under the bill, transgender people will be able to stay married when they obtain their Gender Recognition Certificate, instead of having to get divorced.

Welcomed

The news that the bill provides for marriage for lesbian and gay couples was welcomed by GLEN, the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network.

It is expected that couples will be able to marry from the autumn of this year.

The decision means that Scotland joins England and Wales in providing equal access to marriage for lesbian and gay couples across all of Great Britain.

According to the BBC, Scotland’s two main churches are opposed to the bill – but no religious community will have to hold same-sex marriage ceremonies.

“The vote of the Scottish Parliament is a further historic step in the journey to full equality for lesbian and gay people in the United Kingdom,” said Kieran Rose, GLEN chair.

A very strong message of inclusion, of value and of equality has been sent to lesbian and gay people everywhere. Now, you will not be able to leave the shores of Ireland in any direction without reaching a country where civil marriage is available to lesbian and gay couples.

In Ireland, a referendum on access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples will be held in 2015.

“We firmly believe that the people of Ireland will continue their warm acceptance of lesbian and gay couples and their families and that a yes vote can be carried in a referendum that would provide access to civil marriage,” said Rose.

Read: Scotland to press ahead with plans to legalise same-sex marriage>

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