The Equality Network is proud to launch ’It’s Time’, Scotland’s equal marriage video campaign.

Video: It's Time - Scotland's equal marriage video [Equality Network]

The video campaign features leading Scottish celebrities, politicians, religious ministers, and ordinary couples from across the country, voicing their support for Equal Marriage and declaring that in 2013 ’It’s Time’ LGBT people in Scotland had equal rights.

The campaign is being launched to mark five years since the Equality Network started Equal Marriage, the UK’s first campaign for same-sex marriage, in June 2008. It also comes at the beginning of an important week in which the Scottish Government is set to introduce the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in Parliament.

The video campaign aims to help build momentum for a change in the law as MSPs decide how they will vote on Scotland’s equal marriage legislation. We also hope that it will help focus the minds of MSPs on the positive issues at the heart of the bill; love, equality and freedom of choice.

Equal Marriage supporters featured in the video campaign include the First Minister and the leaders of all five main opposition parties in Scotland, as well as religious ministers from the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Quakers, Unitarians, the Metropolitan Community Church, and Liberal Judaism.

They are joined by leading Scottish celebrities including Alan Cumming, Sharleen Spiteri, Lorraine Kelly, Billy Boyd, Sylvester McCoy, John Michie, Michelle McManus, Susan Calman, Muriel Gray, Melanie Masson, Horse McDonald, Libby McArthur, Iain Stirling, Elaine C Smith, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Carol Smillie, Grant Stott, Pat Kane, Val McDermid, and {The Proclaimers. With “Pride” by the award-winning Amy MacDonald featuring as the backing track courtesy of Amy and her management, Universal Music and Warner/Chappell.

Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said; “We’re proud of the ’It’s Time’ video campaign, which demonstrates the breadth of support that exists for equal marriage in Scotland, and reflects the values of equality and compassion that have always been at the heart of our society. Thirty-three years ago Scotland finally decriminalised homosexuality now, in 2013, its well-and-truly time that LGBT people were granted full equality under the law. We hope that in the coming months MSPs will vote by a clear majority to give same-sex couples an equal right to celebrate their love and, in doing so, they will send out a strong message to the world about the kind of fair and progressive country we want Scotland to be.”

’It’s Time’ was filmed on location across Scotland by, the up-and-coming Glasgow-based video production company, Production Attic.

All of the Equality Network’s campaigns, including Equal Marriage, are funded entirely by donation. The ’It’s Time’ video campaign was funded by individual donors and sponsorship from Community, the trade union, whose slogan is rather fittingly ‘the union for life’.

The Equality Network warmly welcomes the leadership shown by politicians and public figures in getting on board with the video campaign. This is perhaps the first time in Scottish history that all of our political leaders and such influential public figures have spoken out so clearly and vocally in favour of LGBT equality, and it is important to recognise the significance of such leadership, and the vital role it plays in reducing prejudice and changing social attitudes for the better.

The celebrities and public figures featured in the campaign were keen to speak out about why they wanted to get involved:

Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of Texas, said; “I support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign because I believe that you should be able to love whoever you want to love, and you should be allowed to be with that person if you want to be regardless of sexuality.”

Alan Cumming, the award-winning Hollywood actor, said; “I wanted to take part in the Equality Network video campaign because as a Scot, I feel our country should be aware of the inequality that exists, as we are not a nation to discriminate.”

Lorraine Kelly, the Queen of Daytime TV, said; “I wanted to support the Equality Network’s Equal Marriage campaign because I think two people who love each other and who want to make a commitment to one another in front of friends and family is something very special and should be applauded. Why should the fact they happen to be gay make a blind bit of difference? We need more love and more equality in the world. Equal marriage would be a step in the right direction and I’m baffled that anyone would want to oppose it and stand in the way of any couple’s happiness.”

Billy Boyd, the actor and musician famed for his role in the Lord of the Rings, said; "I was very pleased to be asked to be part of this campaign by the Equality Network. Marriage in our society is a way we can show our fellow human beings our love, to say someone’s love for another is more “legal” than someone else’s is crazy. I look forward to Scotland, and ultimately the rest of the world, giving legal equality to anyone who wishes to marry."

Opinion polls have shown consistent public support for same-sex marriage across Scotland. The most recent poll was conducted in June 2012 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Equality Network. It showed record support with 64% of Scots in favour of a change in the law, and just 26% opposed. Separate polls conducted over the past three years by Populus, YouGov, Angus Reid, and the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, have all shown similar levels of support.

Support for equal marriage is also high in the Scottish Parliament. Over two-thirds of MSPs have now signed the Equality Network’s ‘Equal Marriage Pledge’ committing themselves to voting in favour of same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership. Signatories include First Minister Alex Salmond, all Cabinet Ministers, and the leaders of all four Parliamentary opposition parties. Whilst 88 MSPs have now said they will vote in favour, just 11 remain publicly opposed.

Most countries around Scotland already have same-sex marriage, including Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal. The UK Government are currently in the process of introducing same-sex marriage in England and Wales, whilst Ireland is considering a change in the law to allow it.

Across the Atlantic, same-sex marriage is already legal in Canada and many US States. Within days the Supreme Court is due to make a landmark ruling on whether or not same-sex marriage should be recognised in California and by the Federal government of the United States.

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