Queen Elizabeth Signs Scotland's Marriage Equality Bill Into Law
All hail the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II gave Scotland's marriage equality bill her signature today, making it the third country in the United Kingdom to legalize same-sex marriage. Scotland joins England and Wales, which makes us think Northern Ireland must be feeling pretty lonely. Join the party, Northern Ireland!
Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted her Royal Assent to the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.
By this act, the Queen gave her official approval to the measure, which overwhelmingly passed the Scottish Parliament last month, and in so doing gave the bill the force of law.
While there are still a few minor kinks to iron out, same-sex couples in Scotland should be able to marry by the end of the year.
Scotland's marriage equality law contains extensive religious protections: officials and religious groups will not be required to perform same-sex weddings but can opt-in if they so choose, and individual celebrants who support marriage equality but whose faith groups oppose it (i.e. pro-equality Catholic priests) will not be allowed to solemnize same-sex marriages. Furthermore, it includes a symbolic provision stating that it is possible to oppose same-sex marriage "without being homophobic."
In a victory for trans advocates, the law ends the "spousal veto," which required married trans people to obtain written permission from their spouse before they could be granted gender recognition. It also allows them to stay married when obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, rather than requiring them to get divorced.
We'd say this is victory for all involved. Congrats to our Scottish, Instincters!
(H/T: The Gaily Grind)