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August 9, 2018

Argentine senate votes against legalisation of abortion

Argentine senate votes against legalisation of abortion

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Thursday, August 9, 2018



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August 2, 2015

Local municipalities in Italy ask taxes from religious schools

Local municipalities in Italy ask taxes from religious schools

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

In the past few days in Italy, several municipalities have started asking religious schools to pay taxes for property and local services, despite the resistance of the Catholic Church.

Istituto Gonzaga, a catholic school in Milan.
Image: Friedrichstrasse.

The request of the municipalities results from the sentence of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation on July 8, recognising as legitimate the request of the Municipality of Livorno asking religious schools to pay property taxes.

Requests have come from the Municipality of Bogliasco, next to Genova, and from the deputies of Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) of the regional counsel of Lombardy. The first case is of the mayor Luca Pastorino that in last years received several refusals of his requests for payment because of the religious nursery school and retirement home. In the second case, the M5S party asks to the regional government to assure the local administrations of the region regularly apply the sentence of the Supreme Court.

The case on which the Court has ruled was of the religious schools Santo Spirito and Immacolata in Livorno, Tuscany, to pay over 422,000 euros in arrears for the period from 2004 to 2009. The request was advanced by the Municipality of Livorno in 2010.

The city reasoned, “because the users of the private schools pay a frequency fee, this kind of activity is considered as a commercial one”((it)).

In 2014 the Italian municipal tax discipline has changed from the ICI system to the IMU system by the Monti government. A mean cost per student criterion is used to tax only the schools that receive a fee higher than the mean cost per student fixed by the State. The new law is not retroactive, so the taxes requested in arrears from 2006 to 2009 are under the ICI system.

Minister of Education Stefania Giannini said a “more general reflection”((it)) is needed. Claudio De Vincenti, undersecretary to the prime minister, said “a discussion table will be opened with the non-profit associations, religious association included”((it)).

Undersecretary for Education Mr. Toccafondi says “many schools will increase their fees or they will quit. Then the State will have to find new resources to build new structures and manage them”((it)).

Also the president of the Lombardy region, Roberto Maroni, has reacted by proposing some regional counter-measures to finance private schools.

The secretary general of CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), Nunzio Galantino, has called the sentence “dangerous”((it)) and “ideological”((it)): “We face a dangerous sentence. Who takes the decisions, do it with less ideology. Because I have the clear sensation that with this way of thinking, they wait the praise of some ideologized supporters. Indeed, they don’t understand what kind of good service private schools held”((it)).

Italian secularist associations are concerned the Government will modify the law in order to maintain an exception for religious schools. The secularist magazine MicroMega describe the court’s judgement as historic.

The Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR) has launched a petition which now has more than 11,000 signatures, asking the government to respect and execute the sentence of the Supreme Court. It is also encouraging citizens to ask for application of the law in their local municipalities.



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July 31, 2015

Local municipalities in Italy ask taxes to religious schools

Local municipalities in Italy ask taxes to religious schools

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Italy
Other stories from Italy
…More articles here
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Istituto Gonzaga, a catholic school in Milan

In the past few days in Italy, several municipalities have started asking religious schools for paying taxes for property and local services, despite the resistence of the Catholic Church.

The request of the municipalities arrives as a result of the sentence of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation dating back to the 8th of July, that recognised as legitime the request of the Municipality of Livorno that was asking also to religious schools for paying the taxes related to the ownership of the property and the services of the local municipality.

The first requests arrive from the Municipality of Bogliasco, next to Genova, and from the deputies of Movimento 5 Stelle of the regional counseil of Lombardy. The first case is that of the mayor Luca Pastorino that in last years received several refusal for his requests payment due to the religious nursery school and retirement home. In the second case, the M5S party asks to the regional government to assure that the local administrations of the region regularly apply the sentence of the Supreme Court.

The sentence of the Court and its consequences[]

The case on which the Court has ruled was that of the religious schools Santo Spirito and Immacolata in Livorno (Tuscany), that will have to pay 422,000 Euros for the arrears of the period from 2004 to 2009. The request was advanced by the Municipality of Livorno in 2010.

The reason of the judge are based on the fact that “seen that the users of the private schools pay a frequency fee, this kind of activity is considered as a commercial one”.

Nevertheless in 2014 the Italian tax discipline over municipality service and private property has changed from the ICI system to IMU system, by the Monti government, under request of the European Union. A mean cost per student was introduced in order to tax only the schools that receive a fee higher than a the mean cost per student fixed by the State.

Anyway, the new tax discipline is not retroactive, so the municipality may ask the arrears for each of the ten years before the new law of 2014.

The reactions of the politicians and of the government[]

After the first reaction of the Minister of Education Stefania Giannini who said that a “more general reflection” is needed, the government has announced by undersecretary of the Prime minister Claudio De Vincenti that “a discussion table will be opened with the non-profit associations, religious association included”.

The undersecretary for the Education Mr. Toccafondi expects that “many schools will increase their fees or they will quit. Then the State will have to find new resources to build new structures and manage them”.

Also the President of Region Lombardy, Roberto Maroni, has reacted proposing some regional counter-measures to finance private schools.

The reactions of Catholic Church and secularist associations[]

The Secretary of CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), Nunzio Galatino, has defined the sentence as dangerous and ideological: “We are in front of a dangerous sentence. Who takes the decisions, do it with less ideology. Because I have the clear sensation that with this way of thinking, they wait the praise of some ideologized supporters. Indeed, they don’t understand what kind of good service private schools held”.

At the same time, the Italian secularist associations fear that the Government will modify the law in order to persist with the exception for the religious schools. The secularist magazine MicroMega define the sentence as historic. It points out on the fact that the service offered by private confessional schools are religiously characterized, subjected to high fees and authorized to select their future students.

The association UAAR (Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics) has launched a petition that has already got 9,000 signatures, asking the government to respect and execute the sentence of the Supreme Court. It is also encouraging the citizens to ask to their mayors to apply the law on their territory.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

The Italian Supreme Court states that the religious schools must pay taxes

The Italian Supreme Court states that the religious schools must pay taxes

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, July 31, 2015

Istituto Gonzaga, a catholic school in Milan

On the 8th of July the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation has recognized as legitime the request of the Municipality of Livorno that also religious schools pay the taxes related to the ownership of the property and the services of the local municipality.

The case on which the Court has ruled was that of the religious schools Santo Spirito and Immacolata, that will have to pay 422.000 Euros for the arrears of the period from 2004 to 2009. The request was advanced by the Municipality of Livorno (Tuscany) in 2010.

The reason of the judge are based on the fact that “seen that the users of the private schools pay a frequency fee, this kind of activity is considered as a commercial one”.

Nevertheless in 2014 the Italian tax discipline over municipality service and private property has changed from the ICI system to IMU system, by the Monti government, under request of the European Union. A mean cost per student was introduced in order to tax only the schools that receive a fee higher than a the mean cost per student fixed by the State.

Anyway, the new tax discipline is not retroactive, so the municipality may ask the arrears for each of the ten years before the new law of 2014.

The reactions of the politicians and of the government[]

After the first reaction of the Minister of Education Stefania Giannini who said that a “more general reflection” is needed, the government has announced by undersecretary of the Prime minister Claudio De Vincenti that “a discussion table will be opened with the non-profit associations, religious association included”.

The undersecretary for the Education Mr. Toccafondi expects that “many schools will increase their fees or they will quit. Then the State will have to find new resources to build new structures and manage them”.

Also the President of Region Lombardy, Roberto Maroni, has reacted proposing some regional counter-measures to finance private schools.

The reactions of Catholic Church and secularist associations[]

The Secretary of CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), Nunzio Galatino, has defined the sentence as dangerous and ideological: “We are in front of a dangerous sentence. Who takes the decisions, do it with less ideology. Because I have the clear sensation that with this way of thinking, they wait the praise of some ideologized supporters. Indeed, they don’t understand what kind of good service private schools held”.

At the same time, the Italian secularist associations fear that the Government will modify the law in order to persist with the exception for the religious schools. The secularist magazine MicroMega define the sentence as historic. It points out on the fact that the service offered by private confessional schools are religiously characterized, subjected to high fees and authorized to select their future students.

The association UAAR (Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics) has launched a petition that has already got 7.000 signatures, asking the government to respect and execute the sentence of the Supreme Court. It is also encouraging the citizens to ask to their mayors to apply the law on their territory.



Sources[]

Enrico Lenzi. “Scuole paritarie e tasse, le norme dimenticate” — l’Avvenire, July 29, 2015

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Italian Supreme Court states religious schools must pay taxes

Italian Supreme Court states religious schools must pay taxes

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, July 31, 2015

Istituto Gonzaga, a catholic school in Milan

In Italy several municipalities start to ask religious schools for paying taxes for property and local services.

The request of the municipalities arrives as a result of the sencence of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation dating back to the 8th of July, that recognized as legitime the request of the Municipality of Livorno that was asking also to religious schools for paying the taxes related to the ownership of the property and the services of the local municipality.

The first requests arrive from the Municipality of Bogliasco, next to Genova, and from the deputies of Movimento 5 Stelle of the regional counseil of Lombardy. The first case is that of the mayor Luca Pastorino that in last years received several refusal for his requests payment due to the religious nursery school and retirement home. In the second case, the M5S party asks to the regional government to assure that the local administrations of the region regularly apply the sentence of the Supreme Court.

The sentence of the Court and its consequences[]

The case on which the Court has ruled was that of the religious schools Santo Spirito and Immacolata in Livorno (Tuscany), that will have to pay 422.000 Euros for the arrears of the period from 2004 to 2009. The request was advanced by the Municipality of Livorno in 2010.

The reason of the judge are based on the fact that “seen that the users of the private schools pay a frequency fee, this kind of activity is considered as a commercial one”.

Nevertheless in 2014 the Italian tax discipline over municipality service and private property has changed from the ICI system to IMU system, by the Monti government, under request of the European Union. A mean cost per student was introduced in order to tax only the schools that receive a fee higher than a the mean cost per student fixed by the State.

Anyway, the new tax discipline is not retroactive, so the municipality may ask the arrears for each of the ten years before the new law of 2014.

The reactions of the politicians and of the government[]

After the first reaction of the Minister of Education Stefania Giannini who said that a “more general reflection” is needed, the government has announced by undersecretary of the Prime minister Claudio De Vincenti that “a discussion table will be opened with the non-profit associations, religious association included”.

The undersecretary for the Education Mr. Toccafondi expects that “many schools will increase their fees or they will quit. Then the State will have to find new resources to build new structures and manage them”.

Also the President of Region Lombardy, Roberto Maroni, has reacted proposing some regional counter-measures to finance private schools.

The reactions of Catholic Church and secularist associations[]

The Secretary of CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), Nunzio Galatino, has defined the sentence as dangerous and ideological: “We are in front of a dangerous sentence. Who takes the decisions, do it with less ideology. Because I have the clear sensation that with this way of thinking, they wait the praise of some ideologized supporters. Indeed, they don’t understand what kind of good service private schools held”.

At the same time, the Italian secularist associations fear that the Government will modify the law in order to persist with the exception for the religious schools. The secularist magazine MicroMega define the sentence as historic. It points out on the fact that the service offered by private confessional schools are religiously characterized, subjected to high fees and authorized to select their future students.

The association UAAR (Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics) has launched a petition that has already got 7.000 signatures, asking the government to respect and execute the sentence of the Supreme Court. It is also encouraging the citizens to ask to their mayors to apply the law on their territory.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 18, 2015

Pope Francis denounces GMOs and Pesticides / Poisons

Pope Francis denounces GMOs and Pesticides / Poisons

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Environment
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Pope Francis released his Encyclical[1] in witch he denounces GMOs and Pesticides / Poisons for environmental and social damage[2][3]

Pope Francis pictured in 2013
Image: Presidência da Republica/Roberto Stuckert Filho.

Pope Francis’ statements on GMO and Pesticides / Poisons

  • He calls for the financing of independent and interdisciplinary research to study GMOs: “135. […] This [GMO] is a complex environmental issue; it calls for a comprehensive approach which would require, at the very least, greater efforts to finance various lines of independent, interdisciplinary research capable of shedding new light on the problem.”[4]
  • “135. Certainly, these [GMO] issues require constant attention and a concern for their ethical implications. A broad, responsible scientific and social debate needs to take place, one capable of considering all the available information and of calling things by their name. It sometimes happens that complete information is not put on the table; a selection is made on the basis of particular interests, be they politico-economic or ideological.”[5]
  • “134. […] The expansion of these [GM] crops has the effect of destroying the complex network of ecosystems, diminishing the diversity of production and affecting regional economies, now and in the future. In various countries, we see an expansion of oligopolies for the production of cereals and other products needed for their cultivation. This dependency would be aggravated were the production of infertile seeds to be considered; the effect would be to force farmers to purchase them from larger producers.”[6]
  • On pesticides Pope Francis states: “20. […] People take sick, for example, from breathing high levels of smoke from fuels used in cooking or heating. There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general. Technology, which, linked to business interests, is presented as the only way of solving these problems, in fact proves incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things and so sometimes solves one problem only to create others.”[7]
  • “136. […] In the same way, when technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit. As we have seen in this chapter, a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power.”[8]
  • “134. […] In many places, following the introduction of these [GM] crops, productive land is concentrated in the hands of a few owners due to “the progressive disappearance of small producers, who, as a consequence of the loss of the exploited lands, are obliged to withdraw from direct production”.”[9]
  • “133. […] We need but recall that scientific developments in GM cereals began with the observation of natural bacteria which spontaneously modified plant genomes. In nature, however, this process is slow and cannot be compared to the fast pace induced by contemporary technological advances, even when the latter build upon several centuries of scientific progress.”[10]

According to Wikipedia the “Encyclicals indicate high Papal priority for an issue at a given time. Pontiffs define when, and under which circumstances, encyclicals should be issued.”[11]

According to Wikipedia the Catholic Church as more than 1.2 billion members worldwide[12]



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 24, 2015

Ireland legalises same-sex marriage

Ireland legalises same-sex marriage – Wikinews, the free news source

Ireland legalises same-sex marriage

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

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Ireland by public vote on Friday legalised same-sex marriage. This was the first time a country legalized same-sex marriage by popular vote. The historic referendum resulted in a landslide sixty percent “yes”.

Over sixty percent of the nation’s electorate participated in the vote, with about two million counted on Saturday before the result was announced at Dublin Castle. A total of 1,201,607 — 62 percent — of people voted “yes” to gay marriage, with only 734,300 — 38 percent — voting “no”.

LGBT flag map of Ireland

Prime Minister Enda Kenny said, “we have disclosed who we are. We are a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people who say yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to gay marriage.”

Other political leaders also took to the media to voice their support for the decision. Cabinet minister Leo Varadkar remarked, “We’re the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it’s a very proud day to be Irish”.

Ireland is a majority Catholic country. The church opposes same-sex marriage. Dublin archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Ireland’s vote is part of a “social revolution”. “If the referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, the church has a huge task in front of it,” he said.

About 2,000 LGBT supporters celebrated in the Dublin Castle courtyard on Saturday. Drag queen Rory O’Neill, publicly known as Panti Bliss, was among the crowd, and stated “I am drunk on Yes […] It’s not that Ireland has changed today, but that Ireland has confirmed the change that we already knew had happened.”



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April 26, 2014

Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death

Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Italy
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Ahead of Sunday’s scheduled canonization of Pope John Paul II, in the Italian village of Cevo, a massive stone and wood crucifix dedicated to the late pontiff collapsed, instantly crushing a man to death and landing another in the hospital. Reports variously say the collapse took place on Wednesday or Thursday.

File photo of the crucifix in 2008.
Image: Luca Giarelli.

Marco Gusmini, 21, died after part of the wood of the crucifix splintered and broke, sending it, along with the attached statue of Jesus Christ, toppling to the ground. He was reportedly posing for a photograph under the monument.

The mayor of Cevo, Silvio Citroni, termed the incident “an unexplainable tragedy. A young life, so many hopes destroyed this way”. Describing the tragedy, he elaborated, “The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions. Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction.” Citroni also said the crucifix had undergone maintenance work last summer. “This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something like this could happen.” In light of the untimely tragedy, he said, plans for any further celebrations to commemorate the late pontiff’s impending canonization have been scrapped.

Sculptor Enrico Job designed the crucifix, which stood 100 ft (30 m) tall; curved unusually to symbolize, reportedly, the scars of World War II; mounted with a 20 ft (6 m) tall statue of Jesus Christ weighing 1,320 lbs (600 kg). Commissioned to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Brescia, and reportedly originally erected at a stadium there, the crucifix was moved to its present location in nearby Cevo in 2005.

Gusmini and his parents reportedly lived on Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, a street in Lovere named after another late pontiff to be canonized alongside Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII. In celebration of this double canonization, Rome is expected to play host to 19 heads of state, 24 heads of government, and some 800,000 Catholic pilgrims, visiting from around the world, according to the Interior Ministry of Italy.



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  • Cevo: la «Croce del Papa» ha bisogno di fondiItalian Wikinews, August 29, 2008 (Italian)

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February 5, 2014

Scottish Parliament approve same-sex marriage

Scottish Parliament approve same-sex marriage

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Alex Neil, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellness, who pushed the legislation through Parliament for the Scottish government.
Image: Scottish Government.

The Scottish Parliament approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage by a free vote of 105–18. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill allows for religious bodies to opt in to providing same-sex wedding ceremonies. The Bill was opposed by religious bodies including the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church.

During the Parliamentary debate a number of amendments were advanced and rejected, including an amendment to recognise that “a belief in marriage as a voluntary union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others for life is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society”. The bill allows humanist celebrations in addition to civil and religious ceremonies.

Alex Neil, the Scottish cabinet minister responsible for the legislation, said: “This is a historic moment for equality in Scotland. I am proud that the Scottish Parliament has taken this progressive and hugely important decision in favour of equal rights in our country. It is right that same sex couples should be able to freely express their love and commitment to each other through getting married. Marriage is about love, and that has always been at the heart of this issue.”



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  • “Scottish legislature gives green light to same-sex marriage” — Wikinews, November 21, 2013

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November 21, 2013

Scottish legislature gives green light to same-sex marriage

Scottish legislature gives green light to same-sex marriage

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Alex Neil introduced the legislation on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Image: The Scottish Government.

Members of the Scottish Parliament voted 98–15 in a free vote yesterday to approve the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill, which seeks to legalise marriage between partners of the same sex. If the legislation is passed, Scotland may start allowing same-sex couples to marry in 2015.

Scottish government ministers have attempted to reassure religious groups who oppose same-sex marriage they will not be required by law to conduct them, but may “opt in” to conduct ceremonies for same-sex partners. The law also contains provisions that would protect individuals from being required to perform marriages if their congregation has opted-in but they disagree with same-sex marriage.

Alex Neil, the Scottish government health secretary, said the bill “will create a more tolerant society in Scotland and will mean that, in respect of marriage, there is genuinely equal rights right across the entire community”.

Support for the bill crossed party lines. Jim Hume from the Liberal Democrats said the vote was “a demonstration that our Scottish society values everyone — no matter their sexuality”.

Conservative MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament) Ruth Davidson — who is herself a lesbian — argued in Parliament that the bill “matters to the future nature of our country. We have an opportunity today to tell our nation’s children that, no matter where they live and no matter who they love, there is nothing that they cannot do. We will wipe away the last legal barrier that says that they are something less than their peers. We can help them to walk taller into the playground tomorrow and to face their accuser down knowing that the Parliament of their country has stood up for them and said that they are every bit as good as every one of their classmates.”

From the Labour party, Mary Fee argued against the claim that existing civil partnership legislation was satisfactory: “I ask the opponents of the bill who comment that civil partnerships were introduced for LGBT people whether the suffragettes were happy when the Representation of the People Act 1918 was introduced, allowing women over 30 to vote. No, they were not. They fought for a further decade to enfranchise all women and equalise the voting ages of men and women.”

Elaine Smith, also a Labour MSP, said she feared MSPs opposing same-sex marriage were being “bounced” into supporting the bill for fear of being branded homophobic. “Since indicating that I did not intend to support the redefinition of marriage, my religion’s been disparaged, I’ve been branded homophobic and bigoted, I’ve been likened to the Ku Klux Klan and it was suggested that I be burnt at the stake as a witch”, Smith claimed.

John Mason from the Scottish National Party said “Parliament is not reflecting public opinion on this issue” and the public was more divided on the issue than the parliamentarians in Holyrood were.

Outside the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, a demonstration was held by the LGBT rights group Equality Network supporting the bill. Tom French from the Equality Network said of the vote: “Tonight the Scottish Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to back same-sex marriage and uphold the principle that we should all be equal under the law.”

Colin Macfarlane from the gay rights group Stonewall Scotland also welcomed the vote: “This is a truly historic step forward. We’re absolutely delighted that MSPs have demonstrated overwhelmingly that they’re in touch with the twenty-first century.”

The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland both oppose the Bill. Reverend Dr William Hamilton from the Church of Scotland said while the Church opposes same-sex marriage, they stand against homophobia and “will continue to be a constructive voice in the national debate” about the bill.

In July, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed into law in Westminster and will allow same-sex couples to marry in England and Wales.



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