Legalising gay marriage is the “right thing to do”, Scotland's Deputy First Minister said as she announced that the Scottish Government will introduce legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Nicola Sturgeon said they would bring forward a Bill which could see the first same-sex marriages take place by 2015.
Many religious leaders hit out at the decision. A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: “The Scottish Government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale.”
Campaign group Scotland For Marriage condemned the “ill-conceived and poorly thought-out” plans which are being brought in “with no consideration for the views of the vast majority in the country”.
On the other hand, the decision, announced after almost 80,000 people responded to a consultation, was hailed by equality campaigners as “a proud day for Scotland”.
While the UK Government has also carried out a consultation on same-sex marriage, it has yet to publish the result.