The first legal gay marriages in Scotland are expected to take place in 2015 under new legislation being pushed by the government, reports the BBC. Barring any surprises, Scotland would be the first part of the UK to sanction same-sex weddings. The plan comes despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland, and despite about two-thirds of nearly 80,000 respondents frowning on the idea when leaders sought public opinion, notes the Telegraph.
"We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships," says the deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. "We believe that this is the right thing to do." The government promises to put into place safeguards so that religious groups that oppose gay marriage won't be forced to take part.