Scotland For Marriage, the campaign against same-sex marriage,
have come under strong criticism for wrongly including the names of
equal marriage supporters on an online petition that opposes
Lothians MSP Kezia Dugdale has written to Nicola Sturgeon asking
that the petition be discounted after having been contacted by
"furious" constituents raising their concerns that their names had
been wrongly added.
Both the police and the Information Commissioner have been
informed of the incident.
Equal Marriage campaigners are now concerned that the 28,000
signed postcards submitted by Scotland For Marriage to the Scottish
Government consultation on same-sex marriage may also have included
Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: "We
are very concerned to hear that names have been falsely added to
this petition. Officials will now have to consider whether they can
trust the validity of the petition and the recent postcard campaign
run by Scotland For Marriage.
"This is another good reason why the Scottish Government should
make a decision on legalising same-sex marriage based on the
strength of the arguments, not on a numbers game."
Stephen Donnelly, a second year politics student at the University
of Edinburgh, said: "I was surprised and distressed to find my name
so publicly associated with a homophobic campaign that seeks to
restrict the rights of LGBT citizens across Scotland.
"It throws into question the whole Scotland for Marriage campaign;
who knows what other support may have been falsified? For instance,
were the 28,000 'signed' postcards they submitted all signed by
real people? If they are to salvage any credibility, they need to
provide answers fast."
Paul Meredith Gray, a medical student at the University of
Edinburgh, added: "I received a message yesterday on Facebook
informing me that names of same-sex marriage supporters were on the
Scotland for Marriage homophobic petition. I searched for my own
name and was shocked to find it was also included.
"I have been campaigning for Equal Marriage and attended the
recent heated protest outside Parliament, it's easy to see why I
was targetted. I am disappointed that the opposition would resort
to such shameful measures just to deny LGBT people the liberties
and freedoms we all deserve. Their whole campaign has been about
spreading homophobic lies and trying to force their views upon
other people. We only want love and equality for all, why should
they be so against that?"
The Scottish Government public consultation on same-sex marriage
closed on the 9 Dec. at least 24,000 people responded in favour of
same-sex marriage according to the Equality Network.The
consultation responses are currently being analysed and the
Government is expected to make a decision on whether to take
forward legislation in March 2012 once the analysis is
Opinion polls suggest a majority of Scots support equal marriage,
including the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2010 which indicated
61% support versus 19% opposition. This included a majority of
respondents following all the major faiths and political parties in