The Scottish Government have published their consultation on the draft Bill to introduce same sex marriage in Scotland. The draft Bill is called the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill and it will be pored over in great detail, no doubt.
As you may know, my principle objection to the introduction of same sex marriage is that it will ruin the film “Some like it hot” for future generations…
Anyway, the Bill came about – in part – following a successful “equal marriage” campaign. So it is ironic that the Bill ushers in a era of no fewer than 9 distinct legal forms of marriage or partnership:
- religious marriage (heterosexual);
- belief marriage (heterosexual);
- civil marriage (heterosexual);
- religious marriage (same sex);
- belief marriage (same sex);
- civil marriage (same sex);
- religious civil partnership (same sex);
- belief civil partnership (same sex);
- civil civil partnership or “civil registration” (same sex).
… with slightly different rules and requirements for each. Hardly “equal” is it?
It is only a couple of hundred years since the state took any role in marriage at all. Is there really any legitimate role for government to define these 9 types of relationship as more worthy of state recognition than others? If there must be some state involvement, let’s have a single tax/inheritance agreement which people of any gender or sexuality can enter into and leave individuals and their religious bodies (if any) to celebrate their love and commitment together in whatever way they please – no legislation needed for that surely?
I am in favour of a strict separation of church and state, so let’s not have priests presiding over a civil tax and inheritance contractual relationship, and leave that to the registrars.
- Scotland Unveils Gay Marriage Legislation (queerty.com)
- Same-sex marriage bill goes out for consultation with churches and religious groups (dailyrecord.co.uk)