SNP activist quits party in protest over plans to legalise same-sex marriage

An SNP activist has left the party over its stance on gay marriage. Picture: TSPL
An SNP activist has left the party over its stance on gay marriage. Picture: TSPL
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AN SNP activist has left the party in protest at the plans to legalise gay marriage.

Robert Stewart, 66, has resigned his membership in protest at the “undemocratic” decision by Alex Salmond’s cabinet to push ahead with the legislation.

Mr Stewart, a member for 22 years, was secretary of the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency association.

He said: “SNP members have never been consulted as members. There is no party policy on the matter. National conference have not discussed the issue.

“It is not an SNP manifesto commitment and I simply cannot understand how the SNP have a democratic mandate either from the party or from the nation to make such a fundamental change to a centuries-old institution.

“In short, I find the decision undemocratic.”

An SNP Spokesperson said: “We fully recognise that Mr Stewart has strong views on this issue, and we respect his decision. The SNP have long promoted tolerance and equality, and the proposed legislation does fit with those principles.

“Of course, same-sex marriage is supported by the leaderships of all parties in the Scottish Parliament, as well as by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition government at Westminster, and the standard responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation were actually two-to-one in favour.

“The latest poll puts SNP support at 47 per cent – which is even higher than in our landslide election victory – and support for independence is also stronger since last May.

“When the issue of same-sex marriage comes before Parliament, SNP MSPs will have a free vote, giving all of them the opportunity to express their own views.”