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Scottish Government announces same sex marriage bill

The Scottish Government has outlined its legislative priorities for the 2012-13 parliamentary year, which include the introduction of the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill.

The Bill will allow same sex couples to marry. It will also allow civil partnerships to be registered through a religious ceremony. The Bill will also make other amendments to marriage law, to simplify procedures generally.

The Scottish Government has already made clear that no religious body will be compelled to conduct same sex marriages - such protection is provided for under existing equality laws. The Scottish Government has also indicated that it will seek an amendment to the UK Equality Act to protect individual religious celebrants.

It intends to have the UK Government's agreement to the form of that amendment before introducing the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill to the Scottish Parliament. It also intends that the amendment to the UK Equality Act would take effect before the legislation comes into force.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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