“While we are disappointed that no decision was made today we are pleased that the Scottish Government has confirmed that a referendum has been ruled out. Ministers have stated that a final decision on a way forward will be announced by the end of this month; we look forward to that and urge them to stick to their guns and say I do to equal marriage.”
"The Scottish Cabinet today had the opportunity to discuss same sex marriage in great detail and consider all views represented in the consultation responses. This is an important issue and it is right that Cabinet takes the time to get both the principle and the detail of the decision right.
"During the discussion, recent calls for a referendum on the subject were carefully considered. However, Cabinet views this as an issue of conscience not constitution. Given that if a Bill is brought forward it should in the view of the Scottish Government be determined by a free vote, Cabinet has concluded that a referendum would not be appropriate.
"Cabinet has now asked a Cabinet sub-committee, led by the Deputy First Minister, to further examine some particular issues of detail before a final decision is reached.
"We remain committed to publishing the consultation responses and our clear decision on the way forward before the end of this month."
Enquiries: Colin Macfarlane 07870 650 662/Catherine Somerville 0131 474 8019
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