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Marriage equality 2014: Scotland passes same-sex marriage bill

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Scotland has become the 17th country to legalize gay marriage. As reported by the Associated Press on Feb. 4, the Scottish Parliament voted in favor of a same-sex marriage bill by a large margin.

With the passing of the bill, same-sex couples in the country can began wedding ceremonies by the end of 2014. It was a great day for equal rights in Scotland as expressed by Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil who called the approved bill “one of the great historic days of the parliament.”

As the bill passed by a margin of 105 votes to 18, religious leaders find the passing of the law insulting. Like other countries and American states that have passed gay marriage bills, religious groups criticize such bills in their continual efforts to protect their definition of traditional marriage.

Under the bill, religious bodies will have the choice to perform marriages or chose not to. They cannot be forced to do so if they are against same-sex marriage.

Scotland has now followed the paths of England and Wales, where same-sex marriage bills were passed in July of 2013.

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