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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Marriage Update.

"God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;"

So wrote the 18th century English poet and hymn-writer, William Cowper, and it is certainly less than wise to endeavour to 'second-guess' the Almighty!  However, the news this evening is that the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament met this morning to consider the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 (Day 1) where amendments 1-47 were debated.

Those amendments included:
  • A statement saying that belief in traditional marriage is worthy of respect in a democratic society;
  • A concept of reasonable accommodation to ensure that, for example, public sector employees are not victimised for belief in traditional marriage;
  • Protecting the charitable status of organisations supporting traditional marriage;
  • Ensuring that no-one would be compelled to be involved in same-sex weddings;
  • Preventing foster carer or adoption applicants being rejected for believing in traditional marriage.
Amendments in each of these five areas were voted against by 4 to 3 on the Committee.

My 'However' is simply this.  During the Stage 1 debate, a number of MSPs declared that they voted in favour of the Bill on the understanding that such amendments would be included.  I am not au fait with the full Holyrood procedure, so it may be that these amendments will also be voted on by the full parliament at Stage 3.  However, if such an opportunity is not given, could it be that their absence will encourage a majority of MSPs to vote against it?!

In military strategy, it is a well-known maxim that losing a battle does not necessarily mean losing a war.  May it be that, in the providence of God, these 'defeats' at Stage 2 will lead to victory at Stage 3?  Let those of us who value marriage as God ordained it, remain faithful in prayer, that it may yet be retained, here in Scotland, as between a man and a woman - and nothing else! 

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