HAWICK MSP Paul Wheelhouse has voted in favour of gay marriage and welcomed the passing of a new law in the Scottish Parliament this week.
The bill, which allows same-sex weddings to take place in Scotland was passed following a vote of 105 to 18, and has been welcomed by the Sandbed-based South of Scotland MSP.
Commenting on the new Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, which includes a number of measures for same-sex couples to become married and also amends the law for civil partnerships – Mr Wheelhouse stated: “I thank the constituents who have contacted me about this Bill during its journey through the Parliamentary procedure and I appreciate the varied opinions that have been put to me. I have listened and reflected, but, ultimately this vote was a matter of conscience.”
And further explaining his support of the move, opposed by the Scottish Catholic Church and Church of Scotland, he added: “Prior to my election in 2011, when expressing my support in principle for equal marriage, I stated I would seek to ensure that religious freedom and freedom of speech would be protected.
“I understand the concerns expressed about the legislation, however, I am content that the correct safeguards are in place to protect those who do not wish to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies and that adequate protection is in place to protect freedom of speech.”