Skip to content

Equal marriage 10 years on: Reflecting on the past and hoping for the future

MSYPs and staff at Pride
Posted on

This month is LGBT History Month – I never learned about the Stonewall riots in school. I never learned that you could love someone the same gender as you. I never learned that it’s okay to be my authentic self. I never learned that you could wear the clothes you feel comfortable in, and do your hair the way that makes you feel like you.

I remember the fear I had for years when I worked out that I like boys and girls. I remember the fear I had telling my best friends I wasn’t straight. I remember the fear that I would be judged, that people would laugh at me or think I was weird. I remember the confusion and anger when people told me to ‘pick a side’.

Where I don’t feel that fear is Pride. I don’t feel that fear when I’m surrounded by hundreds and even thousands of people that have felt the same fear as I once did. I feel loved, I feel valid and, most importantly, I feel like I’m making a difference. I’m standing up for the rights of a community that still experiences hate.

At our National Sitting in June 2011, MSYPs voted for marriage equality to be SYP’s national campaign. Our campaign ‘Love Equally’ was part of a huge fight for equality for the LGBT+ community from individuals, groups and organisations across Scotland. At the time, our Members worked alongside LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall, the Equality Network, NUS Scotland and more to campaign together. This included a march of over 1000 people down The Royal Mile in Edinburgh on Valentine’s Day in 2012.

Ten years ago this month, in February 2014, Scotland became the 17th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage after the Scottish Parliament passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 by an overwhelming 105 votes to 18, the third strongest majority for any same-sex marriage legislation in the world.

Legalising same-sex marriage was a massive milestone of equality in Scotland however we’ve still got a long way to go to make Scotland and safe and equal place for LGBT+ people. According to a report by our friends at LGBT Youth Scotland on ‘Life for LGBT+ Youth in Scotland’, there has been a big drop in the number of young people who think Scotland is a good place to be LGBTI, falling from 81% to just 65% in the five years to 2022.

We shouldn’t switch our TV on at night to watch the news and find out that there’s been another hate driven attack on LGBT+ people. It’s starting to feel like the norm. It shouldn’t. Why are we regressing?

As a young LGBT+ person I see coverage in the media, and it brings back those fears that I had when I was younger. I want to grow up in a world where people like me are safe, where people like me can hold the hand of the person they love and not fear for their safety.

It’s up to every single one of us to make sure that Scotland is the best place for young people to grow up and that includes young LGBT+ people.

Read more about SYP’s policy stances on LGBT+ issues on our Policy Log.

Written by:

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our mailing list to get involved in our projects and campaigns.

You might also like

  • News

    Scottish Government announce £30 million increase in mental health funding following youth-led evaluation of services

  • News

    Statement on the British Youth Council

    British Youth Council logo on a red background and SYP logo on a blue background.
  • See all articles