West Scotland MSP Mary Fee has voted to support the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill after speaking in the debate on Wednesday which resulted in 98 MSPs backing the Bill to allow LGBT couples to marry and welcomed the vote as progressive and puts Scotland in the global spotlight by joining the other 16 nations that have already implemented similar legislation.
Mary Fee MSP has voted in favour of giving LGBT couples the legal freedom to marry. Speaking during the debate Mary called for the freedoms and rights that many take for granted each day to be extended to LGBT people and reminded the Parliament that while attitudes towards the LGBT community were improving, discrimination and stigma continued to affect the daily lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Currently only heterosexual couples can marry and the Scottish Parliament voted 98 in favour to allow homosexual couples to marry and Mary believes this would end the current two-tier system of marriage in Scotland. Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 and are only permitted for LGBT couples.
Mary also addressed concerns that those against sex-same marriage would be forced into solemnising gay marriage as unfounded by stating that “there are enough safeguards for people to express their view, as long as it is not seen to be hateful or discriminatory”. Freedom of thought, freedom of religion and freedom of speech are integral to our democracy, however Mary asked “at what point does one person’s freedom override the equality of others?”.
The Scottish Labour MSP further added that she has been married for 36 years raising two sons and “strived to understand how introducing the bill takes anything away from my marriage” when echoing comments the First Minister made at the Renfrew Cabinet Meeting last year.
Speaking after the debate, Mary said:
“The vote on same-sex marriage was long overdue and I fully welcome the result. It is very progressive and allowing LGBT couples to have the same right and freedoms as opposite-sex couples do is only right.”
“I am convinced that the bill also gives enough protections for those against the Bill, however I can’t see the arguments against it myself. Giving everyone in Scotland the same rights and freedoms can only be welcomed and progressed further with the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill.”