First hurdle passed 98:15

equal marriage scotland logoThe first reading of the same-sex marriage bill for Scotland passed in Holyrood this evening by 98 votes to 15.

Around a quarter of all MSPs spoke during a well-mannered debate lasting about three hours. BCN magazine live-tweeted through the debate giving some flavour of the discussions for those not able to watch the whole thing. There was support from all five parties in the Parliament.

The vote means the bill has passed stage 1.  The Scottish Parliament website outlines the process for the Bill from here thus:

As soon as a Public Bill (i.e. an Executive, Committee or Member’s Bill) has completed Stage 1, amendments for consideration at Stage 2 may be lodged; and as soon as Stage 2 is completed, amendments for Stage 3 consideration may be lodged. The last lodging day for amendments at Stage 2 is three sitting days before the meeting at which those amendments will be considered (e.g. Thursday for a meeting on Tuesday); at Stage 3 it is four days before. Amendments may be lodged until 4.30 pm on any sitting day, except on the last lodging day for Stage 2, when the deadline is 12 noon.

From the tenor of debate at Stage 1 it seems likely Stage 2 may remove the ‘spousal veto’ provisions that were incorporated into the same-sex marriage bill for England and Wales.

The full debate transcript is now online here.