scotland_legalises_same_sex_marriageAn overwhelming number of MPs in the Scottish Parliament voted on Tuesday to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill will also allow religious denominations to celebrate and perform gay and lesbian marriages should they wish to do so.

The final vote saw 105 legislators voting for the bill and only 18 against, making Scotland the 17th country in the world where gay and lesbian people can legally tied the knot.

Northern Ireland is now the only country in the UK to not have legalised marriage equality.

Under the new law, married transgender people will also be allowed to stay married, instead of being forced to get divorced, by obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate.

“This a truly historic moment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland,” commented Colin Macfarlane, Director, Stonewall Scotland. “We’re delighted that MSPs have overwhelmingly demonstrated that they’re committed to building a Scotland fit for the 21st century.”

“Thirty-four years after Scotland decriminalised homosexuality in 1980, the final major piece of sexual orientation discrimination has been removed from Scots law,” added Scotland’s Equality Network.

The legislation must next go Queen Elizabeth for her signature, which is little more than a formality.

The first same-sex marriages in Scotland are expected to take place later this year, possibly in October.

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