Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 13 December 2012

Equal Opportunities Committee 1

The Equal Opportunities Committee agreed to keep a petition calling for the preservation of marriage open for future scrutiny on 13 December 2012.

MSPs were considering a petition entitled 'Preserving marriage-PE1413 .

The petition by Amy King, calls for no changes to the current definition of marriage, as being a union between one man and one woman, regardless of what happens in Westminster.

The Scottish government has published its proposed legislation to introduce gay marriage.

Ministers, who previously decided they want to make the change, are now asking for people's views on a draft bill to be put to the Scottish Parliament.

Under the plans, religious and belief bodies would need to "opt in" to perform same-sex marriages.

Both the Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church are opposed to the proposals.

Scottish ministers have insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.

Independent MPS John Finnie described some of the content of the petition as "offensive" and initially called for no further action to be taken on it, before agreeing with the rest of the committee that it should be kept open until the Scottish government legislation came under scrutiny.

SNP MSP John Mason said he "slightly" disagreed that the petition was offensive, saying it had a strongly held view.

MSPs then considered a response from the Scottish government to the committee's inquiry into homelessness among young people.

The second part of the committee can be viewed below:

Equal Opportunities Committee 2

Equal Opportunities Committee membership

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