South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish has welcomed this week’s equal marriage debate in Scotland.
Speaking ahead of the Stage 1 debate of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill on Wednesday, she said: “I strongly believe that marriage should be open to all couples who choose to have their love and commitment formally witnessed and I am confident that the legislation will pass this first hurdle.
“The introduction of civil partnerships in 2005 was an important step and I believe that the time is right for us to build on that success to deliver real marriage equality.
“The principles of the bill have broad cross party support - now we need to ensure that the detail is right, including robust protections for faith groups who wish to opt out.
“Scrutiny of the first draft of the bill has highlighted some important issues to take forward at Stage 2 in this regard and I will be monitoring the situation closely.
“I am grateful to the hundreds of constituents who have taken the time to contact me to make their views known. This is clearly an issue that divides opinion but it is vital that we approach the debate in a respectful manner.”