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Scotland legalizes gay marriage

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The Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of legislation that will permit gay marriages. Te country has become the 17th country to give the green light to gay marriage despite opposition from church groups.

Reuters reports:

The Scottish government, which will hold a referendum on independence from Britain in September, said passing the same-sex marriage bill was an important step for equal rights and paved the way for same-sex wedding ceremonies later this year.

The move was opposed by the Scottish Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland but the law will not compel religious institutions to hold ceremonies on their premises.

The approval, in a vote of 105 to 18 in Scotland’s devolved parliament, follows similar legislation passed by the British parliament last year that allows same-sex marriage in England and Wales, with the first weddings to take place from March 29.

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland said: ?This a truly historic moment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland. We?re delighted that MSPs have overwhelmingly demonstrated that they?re committed to building a Scotland fit for the 21st century.?

?We?re also hugely grateful to the thousands of Stonewall supporters who have played a big part by contacting their MSPs to show their support. We?ll now be lobbying the Scottish Government to ensure that the first marriages take place in Scotland within months of the Act receiving Royal Assent.