Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan intends to vote against the Bill which will legalise same-sex marriage when it comes before the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday).
In a statement to the Gazette, he said: “Since the issue of same-sex marriage was first raised, hundreds of people in the islands have been in touch with me, the overwhelming majority of whom have expressed views in favour of continuing a traditional definition of marriage.
“In responding to people, I have pointed out that I am supportive of the existing rights of same-sex couples to civil partnerships, and that I welcome the belated respect which society rightly gives gay people, but that I believe difficult issues are raised around the specific question of marriage.
“This view has also been informed by the strength of feeling which exists among many people in the islands.
“This is a free vote, and there will be people across all the parties who take different views. I expect that the Bill will pass both at stage 1 and at its final stage.
“Among all these different views, the view which so many of my constituents have expressed to me has a right to be recorded, and for that reason it is my intention to vote against the Bill. However, whatever happens, it is important that Scotland emerges from this debate as a place that respects all its citizens, whatever their beliefs or their sexuality may be, and I am confident that this is and will be the case.”