No referendum on same sex marriage

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There will be no referendum on same sex marriage the Scottish government has announced after the consultation was discussed today at a meeting of the Cabinet.

Gay rights charity Stonewall Scotland welcomed the decision not to hold a referendum.

Its director, Colin Macfarlane, said :”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 at 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.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said:

“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.”