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Call for SNP to lift the ‘wedding bells ban’

The Scottish Conservatives will tomorrow seek to lift the ban on marriages taking place in Scotland as part of emergency coronavirus legislation.

Although there’s no formal prevention in place, registrars have stopped taking weddings for fear of being overwhelmed by the increased number of deaths occurring in recent weeks.

Now Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins will put down amendments to the legislation in Holyrood to change that.

He wants couples to be able to undertake formal marriage and civil partnership proceedings, providing they can be done in accordance with attendance restrictions and social distancing measures.

The Glasgow MSP pointed out that the ability to marry was a human right, and not one which should be restricted during a period of lockdown.

 

Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins said:

“We all understand why the restrictions are in place, and that it would be impossible to throw large wedding parties at the moment.

“But the fundamental right for a couple to get married is a human right, and not one that should be restricted.

“There are plenty of places in Scotland where couples could safely get married, with the required three other people in attendance, and a necessary social distance.

“There are couples around Scotland who want to take this next step in their lives, and the Scottish Government should be now allowing them to do so.

“Lifting this wedding bells ban would go some way to achieving this.”

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

 

The amendment states:

 

Marriage and civil partnership

(1) The Scottish Ministers must, in conjunction with the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland, take such steps they consider to be necessary to ensure that the solemnisation of marriages and civil partnerships continues to be available in Scotland during the emergency period.

(2) Steps taken under sub-paragraph (1) must ensure that the ability of persons to exercise rights under article 12 (right to marry) of the European Convention on Human Rights is not disproportionately interfered with for reasons relating to coronavirus.

(3) The Scottish Ministers must, in respect of each reporting period, prepare a report on—

(a) the steps taken by them under sub-paragraph (1), and

(b) the number of marriages and civil partnerships solemnised in Scotland during the reporting period.

(4) The Scottish Ministers must lay each report under sub-paragraph (3) before the Scottish Parliament no late than 14 days after the expiry of a reporting period.

(5) In this paragraph—

“emergency period” means the period for which Part 1 is in force,

“reporting period” has the meaning given by section 12(4).>

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