Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill - a consultation

Closed 20 Mar 2013

Opened 12 Dec 2012

Results updated 2 Feb 2016

In December 2012, the Justice Directorate of the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on proposed changes to Scottish marriage and civil partnership law. The consultation sought views on the detail of the legislation which will introduce same sex marriage, allow civil partnerships to be registered through religious or belief ceremonies and make other changes to marriage law. These measures are contained in The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill (the draft Bill).

This summary presents the key findings from the independent analysis of the responses submitted to the Scottish Government‘s consultation on the draft Bill. The analysis focused on issues that relate specifically to the draft Bill or the other proposals contained within the consultation document. However, many respondents also made comments about their support for, or opposition to, the introduction of same sex marriage or the religious registration of civil partnerships.

Responses received

The total number of analysable responses received was 15,064. The majority of responses (73%) were connected with one of three campaigns (organised by CARE Scotland, Equality Network or Scotland for Marriage) and contained only the suggested text that had been provided to respondents by the campaign group. A further 16% of responses were amended campaign responses, in which the suggested text had been amended or a further comment had been made; 10% were submitted on the standard Scottish Government response form; and the remaining 1% of responses did not use the standard response form and were not campaign responses.

All but 128 (or <1%) of responses were submitted by individual members of the public. The 128 group respondents included 16 of the religious or belief bodies that currently solemnise marriages in Scotland, and 11 of the 32 Scottish local authorities that deliver the civil registrar function and employ Scotland‘s civil registrars.


The full report is attached below.

Read the consultation responses here.



The Scottish Government announced in July 2012 its decision to introduce same sex marriage and the religious registration of civil partnership.

This consultation seeks views on the detail of the legislation that will introduce these changes. It covers not only the introduction of same sex marriage but the detail of important protections in relation to religious bodies and celebrants, freedom of speech and education. It also seeks views on other changes to marriage law.

Read the full consultation paper