The former leader of the SNP has called for a referendum straight away, because of a policy that could have “destructive consequences” for Scotland. I agree we should have a referendum, but not for the reason he does.
Gordon Wilson, former Dundee East MP and former leader of the SNP has claimed that gay marriage will turn Scotland into a “pagan country”. Leaving aside the issue of whether that might actually be a good thing, I too think we should have one, for I have faith in the people of Scotland coming up with the right answer, and its not the one he and his Christian supporters expect.
On one level, this shows the stark dichotomy that exists in the SNP, on this issue as well as many others. The half of the party which are social conservatives, and have moved to support the SNP from the right are against gay marriage, and indeed any sort of equality legislation. The other part of the SNP, from the left side of the political spectrum, are of course in favour, which explains the fudge of consultation in the first place. This is why you get a supposedly social democratic party demanding a cut in corporation tax as its first measure to save the economy.
That is why Labour is the only party that can really deliver on this. We are the only party with equality and social justice as core values. And I believe the Scottish people share those values. That’s why I want a referendum on this issue, and why the SNP will try to park this in the long grass. They are afraid of being split on this (which they are), while we will trust in the Scottish people to deliver a better Scotland. We will move away from the country where there are second class citizens, who are denied their rights simply because of who they are. We will become the sort of Scotland we want to live in, one where we allow people to give of their best, without fear or favour. A Scotland where people are free to be themselves, no matter what their beliefs. A Scotland where people who are free to be themselves, can help create the country that we need and want. A fair, just and equal Scotland.