Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Same-sex marriage march in Edinburgh

Campaigners march to Holyrood
Image caption At the moment same-sex couples can only enter into a civil partnership

More than 1,000 campaigners for same-sex marriage have taken to the streets of Edinburgh to urge the Scottish government to change the law.

The march featured a giant Valentine's Day card to Alex Salmond.

It read: "Roses are white, thistles are blue, we believe in equal marriage and we hope the Scottish Government will too."

At the moment, same-sex couples can enter into a civil partnership but cannot get married.

The event, which began on the Royal Mile and ended at Holyrood, saw supporters from across Scotland, including the Equality Network, NUS Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall Scotland, join members of the Scottish Youth Parliament as part of its Love Equally Campaign.

The Scottish government has already staged a consultation on whether the law should be changed, and has said that it "tends towards the view" that same sex-marriage should be introduced, but faith groups and their celebrants should not be obliged to solemnise the ceremonies.

'Historic response'

The march finished with a rally outside the Scottish Parliament, where the crowd was addressed by Scottish Youth Parliament chairman Grant Costello, SNP MSP Marco Biagi, Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Greens, and Marilyn Jackson, of the Humanist Society of Scotland.

Mr Costello said: "All the evidence shows the majority of Scots support marriage equality and the historic response to the government's consultation on same-sex marriage demonstrates they are prepared to speak out for equality.

"Scotland's young people are determined that the consultation is not the end, but just the beginning of the journey to a better nation with equality at its heart."

Tom French, policy co-ordinator for the Equality Network, added: "With the backing of a majority of Scots and cross-party support in parliament, the Scottish government now have all the backing they need to bring forward legislation to lift the ban on same-sex marriage."

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "The consultation on same-sex marriage and registration of civil partnerships closed in early December.

"The government will now analyse the responses and consider what next steps to take. The analysis of the responses will be published in the spring."

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