Same-sex marriage vote was matter for conscience, says MSP

Paul Wheelhouse MSP
Paul Wheelhouse MSP

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.”