Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Former SNP Leader Gordon Wilson demands a Referendum on gay marriage; you don’t have referendums on people accessing services provided by the State!
I have to say that I am surprised that a former leader of the SNP has urged the Scottish Government to hold a referendum on the proposed introduction of same-sex marriage.
It isn’t necessary.
Because the Scottish Government can simply legislate to allow same sex couples to have the right of civil marriage as other couples.
On this, it is an equality issue, straight forward and simple as that.
A referendum isn’t required.
There is no such thing as having a public vote so that people can access the same human rights under provisions organised by the State such as marriage.
Gordon Wilson says that allowing same-sex partners to marry was of "such a destructive nature to Scottish society" it should be subject to a public vote.
Human rights don’t work that way.
People are entitled to equal treatment by the State.
Wilson was in charge of the Nationalists from 1979 to 1990.
Presently, he is chairman of the Christian-based faith group Solas.
He and the group's director, the Rev David Robertson want a referendum because of the Scottish Government's consultation on the thorny issue!
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon is said to favour the introduction of same-sex marriage.
Last month she launched the consultation and said ministers "tend towards the view that same-sex marriage should be introduced".
But Mr Wilson and Rev Robertson argued:
"By issuing this consultation, the Scottish Government has effectively lit the blue touch paper."
This is premature of Mr. Wilson and Rev Robertson, because they must surely believe in equality of access to State service.
Civil Marriage is a State provided service.
However, they want politicians to "let well alone and leave the status quo in place", warning them:
"You attack the essential building block of society at your peril."
Rather than continue with a "headlong rush to redefine marriage", Solas urged ministers to "stop and reflect that in fact this is a major step which has potentially extremely destructive consequences".
I believe that same sex civil marriage will pass through Holyrood and become law; the argument is one of equality under the State.
As to extending this to same sex religious marriage that is entirely different in nature because the Catholic Church won’t allow same sex marriage in a Catholic Church.
I can’t see the Church of Scotland allowing this either.
And I am pretty sure that the Glasgow Central Mosque won’t be holding Muslim gay marriage any time soon.
On the issue of the Catholic Church, the Pope speaks for the Catholic Church, not individual Priests on this matter.
And the answer is no.
Given that this is a matter of conscience, the SNP wouldn’t be able to present a united front.
SNP MSP John Mason has already made his thoughts clear.
There is no human right to marry in a Church; Priests cannot be forced to marry same sex couples.
Therefore any law enacted is entirely meaningless because it requires consent.
You can’t exercise a human right by trampling on the human rights of others.
So, Gordon Wilson and Rev David Robertson can sleep soundly.
Minor religious groups may sign up to this, but the Catholic Church won’t, the Church of Scotland won’t and neither will the Muslim Community.
I suspect on this matter the people of Scotland will look to the absolute last word on this issue from the Pope as the natural speaker of the Christian world.
The answer is no!
And the Pope’s word is final.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University