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LGBTYS Response to Latest Equal Marriage Bill

LGBTYS RESPONSE TO THE 'EQUAL MARRIAGE' BILL- AUGUST 2013 

The public consultation to the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill ended on the 23rd of August 2013. Overall the consultation has had an overwhelming response from the scottish public and organisations. 

LGBT Youth Scotland has been in favor of this Bill since it's inception; our LGBT Youth Council (NYC) set Equal Marriage as a key manefesto area as far back as 2009 and we have consulted with young people througout it's development. At present the Bill makes marriage available to same-sex couples and enables religious and belief bodies to 'opt - in' to conduct religious same-sex marriages and civil partnerships. 

LGBT Youth Scotland will continue to support the Bill and to ensure that it fully meets the needs of LGBT young people. We submitted a written response to the Bill last week and will present to the Equal Opportunities Committee in September. Our recommendations are as follows: 

- To extend the Bill to include Mixed-sex Civil Partnerships. As supported by the LGBT National Youth Council (NYC). 

- To reduce the age of Gender Recognition in Scotland to age 16 from 18. To mirror the age people can get married in Scottish Law.

- That there should be options for gender neutral language on forms and within religious ceremonies. 

- That a spouse should not have to give consent when an individual seeks to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate, instead giving consent to re-registering their marriage if they wish to do so. 

- We back the current Bill which states that 'the freedom of thought, conscience and religion or expression' are not affected by the Bill.

- In particular we feel that the duty of teachers are already clearly outlined in the GTC's Code of Conduct which recognises that teachers have a duty to provide young people with unbiased information. 

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