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LGBT Youth Scotland Provides Oral Evidence on Equal Marriage

LGBT Youth Scotland appeared in front of the Equal Opportunities Committee at Scottish Parliament today to provide oral evidence on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill. Our evidence was based on research and consultation with LGBT young people on the subject of equal marriage since 2009.

We joined the Equality Network, Scottish Transgender Alliance, Stonewall Scotland, and The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) to argue that we welcome the Bill and the extension of rights and freedoms it would provide. We also raised several areas for the committee to consider when writing its report.

In particular, LGBT Youth Scotland emphasised:

  • Teachers provide a civil service and should be expected to teach about facts rather than personal opinions. In their role, teachers are expected to display a commitment to social justice and inclusion[1] and uphold the principles of Getting it Right for Every Child[2]. They should also take into account young people’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, including their right to have a say in decisions that affect them and their right to receive information relevant to them[3].
  • Opening up marriage and civil partnerships to all couples has been a priority of the LGBT National Youth Council since 2009 and it is a matter of equality. LGBT young people feel that the current system is insufficient and emphasises a separate and unequal status. For these reasons, we welcome legislation allowing for religious or civil same-sex marriage and religious civil partnerships and look forward to the Scottish Government’s review on mixed-sex civil partnerships.
  • The age of Gender Recognition Certificates should be changed to the age of 16 (from the current age of 18) in order to align with the legal age of capacity in Scots law. This is particularly relevant to the Bill as 16 is the age at which individuals can legally marry in Scotland.

 

For more detail on the points above or to read about the additional points submitted in writing, download LGBT Youth Scotland’s written evidence here.

You can view the session recording on the BBC.


[1] Code of Professionalism and Conduct. General Teaching Council for Scotland. www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/teacher-regulation/copac-0412.pdf

[2] Getting it Right for Every Child. Scottish Government. www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/background

[3] See Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People’s description of these rights. www.sccyp.org.uk/rights/uncrcarticles