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Same-sex marriage does offer equality

Peter Kearney of the Catholic Media Office writes to disabuse me of my notion that the Holyrood same-sex marriage Bill will provide equality (Letters, February 7).

He claims: "Unless the Scottish Government's legal advisers can be persuaded that there is such a thing as homosexual consummation, the illusion of equality will continue to evaporate."

We live in Scotland and, in Scots law, there is no such thing as heterosexual consummation of a marriage, which is an English law concept.

Mr Kearney also writes that same-sex marriage will have no concept of adultery. That is also incorrect; the Scottish Bill applies all of divorce law, including adultery, to same-sex marriage.

Sexual infidelity, mixed-sex or same-sex, can found a divorce in a same-sex marriage in exactly the same way as it founds a divorce in a mixed-sex marriage, through the adultery or unreasonable behaviour rules.

We welcome the debate on the merits of same-sex marriage, but it is important to get the facts right. On matters of sexual fidelity, the proposed Bill provides equality.

Tim Hopkins,

Equality Network,

30 Bernard Street,

Edinburgh.

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