Further to reports (3 February), I suggest it is unlikely that Scotland will see same-sex marriage ceremonies before the independence referendum on 18 September, because, conveniently for the Scottish Government with its wholesale focus on independence rather than getting the details of the country’s marriage laws right, the same-sex marriage legislation has been managed inadequately and has been cynically timed.
The Scottish Government has been promising religious groups that they will be protected from possible charges of discrimination if they refuse to undertake same-sex marriages but it made it known late in December 2013 to the equal opportunities committee of the Scottish Parliament, after the Scottish Parliament had approved the principles of the bill in the preceding month, that it cannot guarantee implementation without amendments to the UK Equality Act by the Westminster Parliament.
It is now three years since the Scottish Government launched its consultation on the same-sex marriage legislation.
Its dilatory handling of the matter can only be explained by a desire to put off the highly publicised day when Scotland has its first same-sex wedding ceremony until after the referendum.
These delaying tactics are a discredit to the Scottish Government which tries to be all things to all people, seeks every opportunity to shift blame to the UK Government and puts the goal of breaking up Britain ahead of good government.