Youth Say - Angus Duncan
Published 11 Aug 2011 16:30 0 Comments
IF YOU want a campaign that raises eyebrows, then look no further than the Scottish Youth Parliament's (SYP) latest campaign.
Launched with two girls getting "married" outside the Scottish Parliament, it certainly attracted attention.
Called Love Equally, the new campaign focuses on the lack of equality for gay couples - who are currently barred from getting married, which is treated differently in law - and straight couples who want to have a civil partnership instead, which is also currently illegal.
Already the campaign has provoked a huge interest from across the political spectrum. Green MSP Marco Biagi raised the issue in Parliament as a private members bill, the Equal Marriage Act.
Surprisingly, when the issue was put to the main political parties, only the SNP said they had "no position" on the issue - saying it was a matter of conscience for individual MSPs. Sorry, but since when was breaking down inequalities a "matter of conscience"?
I did wonder if there really were SNP MSPs who were against it and it turns out there are.
John Mason launched a motion calling for no-one to be obliged to recognise or approve of same-sex marriage.
Pardon my ignorance, but I would have thought that a representative of a party which won a Scottish election outright wouldn't have such Victorian views.
It's only fair to mention that one of his party colleagues referred to the motion as "nasty" and "anti-gay marriage." There's a reason why you win a seat and then lose it a year later, John.
There's been a few suggestions that the SYP should leave this campaign to the established gay rights groups.
I disagree, SYP represents all of Scotland's young people. If one particular section of them is not treated the same by the law as everyone else, then it stands to reason that they should campaign on their behalf.
It's hardly an unpopular motion either, of the 42,804 responses received by the SYP, 74 per cent were in favour of the motion.
It was then passed by a majority of MSYPs at the Youth Parliament's AGM in June - this is by no means a minority issue.
Another barrier is religious organisations, who say that they do not believe that allowing homosexuals to marry is "morally right".
The SYP has made some allowances for these rather archaic views, saying that "If religious organisations want to perform same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, they should be allowed to do so."
I don't see why it's such a huge problem, these are human beings with different preferences.
Who cares, or, perhaps, who should care?
The Church of England and Scotland have said they are against gay marriage, only letting gay men become ministers if they remain celibate, by quoting the bible.
Well, here's something else from the bible: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent." "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. If you beat him with the rod, you will save his soul from (the Devil)". Somehow I don't see these ideas being too popular with many people, so why do we take these organisations seriously, when they manipulate supposedly holy texts to suit their own agenda?
Let's put aside our prejudices and live and let live.
If two people love each other, then they should be able to get married.
The views expressed in this column are those of Angus and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Scottish Youth Parlaiment.