Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond pushed forward plans to legalise same-sex marriage today after he announced details of the Scottish government's new legislative programme.
He also pledged that an independence referendum Bill would be at the heart of the SNP administration's agenda, planning for a vote to be held in autumn 2014. However, much of the detail has still to be worked out.
Negotiations on the process surrounding the vote are continuing between the Scottish and Westminster governments.
Mr Salmond said there would be a "conscience" vote in the Parliament over the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill, where MSPs will be able to vote freely. He insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.
The government will bring forward 15 Bills in all.