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One step closer to Equal Marriage in Scotland!

Wednesday 20th November 2013 marked an important day in Scotland's campaign for equality, as MSPs voted to pass Stage 1 of the Scottish Goverment's Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill. With 98 voting yes to 15 no and 5 abstentions, it was a fantastic result and testament to all the hard work of everyone involved in the campaign. The Bill now enters Stage 2 of ammedments, with the final Stage 3 expected to occur in February next year. 

Young people at LGBT Youth Scotland have been involved right from the beginning, when in 2009 the LGBT National Youth Council launch its M.E.2 (Marriage Equality) campaign, gaining support from all corners. Their campaign yearbook now proudly sits as a key piece of work in this historic campaign. However, their involvement did not stop there as they continued to get involved in rallies, consultations and spreading the message that the time is now for Equal Marriage in Scotland. 

Young people also attended the debate in parliament, praised for its maturity and quality, with some very heartfelt speeches from Marco Biagi, Partick Harvey and Ruth Davidson, to name but a few. One young person described it as 'the best debate I have seen in my life... I am proud to say I was there!

Cara Spence, Youth Work Director (Acting) from LGBT Youth Scotland, although 'delighted with the result' commented that the there is still important work to be done around the Bill:

'‘Protections’ for certain groups was a key discussion point and at present this Bill does not include protections for teachers specifically. This is good news, as it may have signalled a return of a Section 28 (2a) in Scotland where teachers could legitimately not discuss same sex relationships in the classroom; or they would be able to express their views on same sex marriage regardless of the impact on pupils. The next steps are to see if we can get the details right, particularly for transgender people.'  

However, more than anything this debate and the Equal Marriage campaign has inspired a generation of LGBT young people to be interested in politics. They have been able to see democracy in action and know that their voice matters. The importance of the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill passing is hugely significant for the lives of LGBT young people, sending a strong message to those growing up in Scotland that their relationships are valued and can be celebrated!