Scotland Establishes Marriage Equality
BY Kevin OKeeffe
February 04 2014 2:15 PM ET
Scotland passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill today, paving the way for same-sex marriages to begin in the fall, reports BuzzFeed.
The bill passed by a vote of 105-18 in the Scottish Parliament, allowing Scotland to join with fellow United Kingdom jurisdictions England and Wales in establishing marriage equality.
"I believe this bill will have a hugely positive impact on our society and on the health and well-being of LGBT of people in our country," said Jim Eadie, a member of Parliament. "This is a profound moment in our nation’s history."
The bill had bipartisan support, though it was opposed by the Church of Scotland and Scottish Catholic Church. Under the new law, religious groups will not be required to perform same-sex marriages, but may opt-in should they choose to recognize such unions.
Both England and Wales passed similar bills in 2013. They are set to begin marrying same-sex couples next month.
The bill's passage also signifies the end of Scotland's "spousal veto" rule, a law that required transgender people's spouses to sign off on changing their gender.
Scotland had been debating establishing marriage equality for some time. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill was first introduced into Parliament in June 2013.