Wednesday 22 February 2023

Kate Forbes misses out the liberalism of same-sex marriage legislation

 So Kate Forbes, who at the time of writing this, is running in the leadership election of the Scottish National Party has said she would have voted against same-sex marriage legislation at the time, if she had been elected to Holyrood. She is also accusing others of being illiberal who speak out against her views.

The irony is that same-sex marriage was from the time was written as policy the whole way up to legislation shows how liberal you can be, while not excluding other. You see same-sex marriage legislation could have forced faith groups to carry out such marriages. However, nobody in a same sex relationship wants to celebrate or have that recognised in somewhere they don't feel welcome. That is why in my opinion one of the key phrases in same sex marriage legislation is "allow faith groups that wish to do so". 

You see prior to SSM legislation nobody could carry out a same sex marriage, not in civil law, in a faith setting or in Scotland by a humanist celebrate. At this point I'll ignore the fact that at Lib Dem Federal level the policy for Same Sex Marriage had to be amended to allow humanist celebrants to carry out mixed sex mrriages (which had only been possible in Scotland up until then). You see when drafting the policy in Scotland it was clear that nobody would be forced to carry out same-sex marriages. 

But I hear you say what about making registrars carry out same-sex marriages. Those who raise an argument about this based on their religious perspective seem to leave their religious views at the door when they marry divorced couples or even couples who Kate Forbes would say were wrong already had children.

You see SSM is a legislation that enables faith groups to come to their own decisions. With the exception of the Church of England and Church in Wales that some people thought it would be better to legislation against those churches solely making a decision on their own, and thus amended to exclude them from the enabling to carry out such marriage if they wanted to.

But it is something I have faced through the 13 years that there has actually been a Lib Dem policy in place for SSM. Something that I am proud to have had a hand in When people in faith groups accuse it of impinging on them when n fact the only thing impinging on them is their own views. It is ironicly something that I still struggle with coming from my own church The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, although I do feel excuded from there because of the judgement those in high places put on people from the LGBT+ community. In a strange way Covid actually makes my church accessible to me once more even though I haven't set foot in it for years.

The irony is that today a spokesperson for the Free Church of Scotland, of which  Kate Forbes is a member said:

"It is lamentable that Kate's honest adherence to simple traditional values would, for some, disqualify her from contributing to the public good of Scotland.

"Kate Forbes is standing on the basis of her policies - the fact that she is being criticised for her Christian convictions shows a level of bigotry that has no place in a pluralistic and diverse society." 

As I have pointed out above the views themselves are actually protected in the legislation she is opposed to. But the Free Church like one or two others likes to play the victim in all this.

It was faith that made homosexuality illegal in the first place and every step of the way LGBT+ people have had to slowly move towards equality, not getting there in one step like banning did, but incrementally. At every step we are told that people of faith don't agree with loosening the hod they have over our civil lives, while some of our are also in dialogue with them in relation to our faith lives. Kate Forbes has put this front and fore of her campaign during her launch, yet apparently we are not to take her stances as a step towards leading a Government as a possible move to restrict freedoms. If we speak up against it we are the illiberal ones, despite constantly bending over backwards to get small change after small change to not upset those with certain faith views to object to everything.