We have been together for four years and are planning to form a Civil Partnership next year. For us marriage means a loving commitment. It is a union recognised both legally and by society. To us, equal marriage would mean that we wouldn’t feel like second class citizens.
Marriage means that your relationship is taken more seriously, it is a legal contract, and always has been. There are also certain legal benefits in terms of insurance and tax. Religious folk seem to think it's all about “God” but surely, if that's the case, no wedding outside of a religious place is “moral'. Love is love and no amount of law or paperwork will change that nor will any hounding from religious folk. We have a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Baptist, Protestants and Wiccans coming to our Civil Partnership which just shows that not all religious people are fussed - and realise that love is love regardless.
We want a marriage, rather than a Civil Partnership because we feel it is seen as more socially valid and shows greater commitment. Civil Partnership feels to us like a pretend marriage, it is not seen as a marriage or it would be called that. Marriage would show that we are normal, not different, and that we are just as committed as a straight couple.
We are planning our civil wedding for next year. At this stage any change in law resulting from the consultation wouldn’t change our plans. We would probably just go and register for marriage quietly behind closed doors once the law changed rather than doing the whole ceremony again. We don’t think that civil partnerships should automatically be changed to marriage status, because some couples wouldn’t want that, especially after some of things that some religious people have said. It’s not a problem just to go to the registry office and do the paperwork, life is full of paperwork!
The fact that they are consulting on equal marriage does make us feel that Scotland is striving to be more open and equal, somewhere that no-one is excluded, particularly if you compare it to somewhere like Uganda. In principle, however, neither of us feels that the Scottish Government should be doing a consultation on it, the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 should just be amended; they should just be doing it. If equal marriage doesn't become a reality the LGBT community along with many others outside of it will think the Scottish Government has given in to religious pressure. If it does become a reality religious groups will say they've not been heard. Either way we need to become a country for the modern time; the LGBT community is a legal section of society and should be equally treated as such.
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