30/04/2012 Newsnight Scotland


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BSkyB, it is to do with stuff that happened under the previous


government. Thank you. On tonight's programme, one side


lobbies Holyrood, the other lot say they'll be sending 300,000 leaflets


ahead of the election on Thursday. Is gay marriage about to dominate


the political debate, even if the politicians don't want it to?


Island life ahead of the local election on Thursday - we're on


Islay to hear about the big issues there. And find out why this


programme's been causing a stir on the other side of the Atlantic.


an interview with the BBC, the former Liberal leader talked about


the end of the -- the inevitability of Quebec separation.


Good evening. Tonight we're talking about the union, who it's for and


if we need a referendum to decide its future. No, it's nothing to do


with Scotland's constitution. We are debating marriage and whether


it should be open to same-sex couples. The Catholic Church has


led the campaign against changing the law, but a range of faith-based


groups have formed a rival campaign to make clear there's more than one


religious view on same-sex unions. They lobbied Holyrood today. We'll


hear from both sides shortly. Another day, another lobby at


Holyrood, over proposals to allow religious same-sex marriages in


Scotland. This group, faith in marriage, which includes Christian


churches as well as many other religions, handed in an open letter


to MSPs demanding the right to conduct same-sex marriages. We have


been here before, haven't we? The row over this can be charged, and


when you have different sections of society moving at different speeds


it can become fraught. We will not stand back and allow politically


correct minority to wonder line the important position of marriage in


our society and determine morality for the majority. We did not vote


for it and we are not having it. This man spent a million pounds of


his own money funding the campaign in 2000, and staged a referendum to


oppose the repeal of legislation which for they'd local authorities


from intentionally promoting homosexuality. Its opponents had


considerably less cash to throw about but they did have the support


of the main political parties, including the MSP for which he was


a political donor. -- the SNP. The public has ended up being caught in


a battle between politicians and religion for hearts and minds. The


the SNP accepts religious organisations that don't wish to


conduct same-sex marriages should not have to, but in recent weeks


campaigners led by Cardinal Keith O'Brien have been at the Scottish


Parliament arguing the case against any change to the status quo.


urge everyone in our country to unite in support of Scotland for


marriage. More limbs are also concerned and imams have come out


strongly against any change to the status of marriage as anything but


a union between man and woman. But today the argument came from those


for religious gay marriage. The SNP might be minded for change but it


is well aware that sexuality and politics can be a volatile mix.


I'm joined by Tom French of the Equality Network, speaking for the


campaign group Faith in Marriage which supports the idea of gay


marriage. And by John Deighan from the campaign group Scotland for


Marriage, which opposes the idea. What do you make of the claim that


opposing the idea is actually homophobic or entrances homophobia


in our society? It is good to see the argument come out like that now


so we understand how this will impact on society. We have found


about 85% of people believe you can support the tradition of marriage,


and they have found if this goes through they will not tolerate that


position. The country needs to wake up to this am change the minds of


politicians. What about homophobia? Homophobia - you are accused of


being homophobic simply for holding of a value that all societies have


got hold it. The instruments of our society operate on have always


upheld. Really it is quite worrying where about to go down the path


where normal people believe in what people have always believed, they


will be charged for with something the Equality Network sees as a


counter racism. Defended as a tradition? Marriage has changed


over centuries numerous times, one example is that you can no longer


beat your wife legally. In terms of defending tradition, it is fine for


groups like the Catholic Church to be able to hold marriages in


whatever way they see fit, but we are calling for other faith groups


that want to conduct same-sex marriages and the state - civil


marriages - we feel they should be allowed to conduct same-sex


marriages. It is not about requiring them to conduct them, it


is about allowing those groups that want to to be able to. You said in


your letter today that not to do that was entrenching homophobia,


that is what you are saying his position is about. I think opposing


same-sex marriage altogether, so what we are saying is that if the


Catholic Church do not want to do same-sex marriages themselves they


should not have to, but it seems they are going beyond that am


wanting to impose their views on other faith groups. If so? If so, I


think that is wrong. Other faith groups want to conduct same-sex


marriages and should be able to. One not let them do that and you


carry on doing your thing? Tom is confusing two things. There is an


understanding of marriage which is for the public good, for bringing


together men and women for the sake of children and we have to operate


in a society where we can do that the best we can. You presumably


don't accept that that is what marriage is about? He no, I think


marriage is about two people come together who love each other and


one to celebrate their partnership. We have seen seven countries in


Europe have already legalise same- sex marriage. What is wrong with


his position? Every one knows that love is a good thing but the love


between a husband and wife is something different. Any biology


lesson can teach us that. To say two men can form the same


relationship as a man and woman is illogical, contrary to reason. It


flies in the face of common sense and people are starting to wake up


to this now. When they see the case we had in England last week when a


Catholic school were teaching their marriage is between a man and a


woman, and the amount of campaigning from groups has now led


to a government inquiry. This is what it will do for religious


freedom, this is what it will do for the 85% of people who believe


traditional marriage can be upheld at the same time as recognising the


rights of others, which we have recognised. Civil partnership gives


them the same rights as spouses. Are you now in favour of civil


partnerships? By am not in favour. It has led us to the position we


are now because we said it was preparing the way for same-sex


marriage. At the time we were told, don't be silly, no one could


redefine marriage. They are was a time when people on your side of


the argument said all you needed to be equal was civil partnership, the


same rights. When did the argument changed? The Equality Network said


we will support this as a step forward, but in our submissions to


the government at the time we said this is not equality. We believe in


the same rights and rules for everyone. Equality under the law is


a principle that is key to Scotland and that is what we are calling for.


We are calling for equal rights and equal treatment. Are you trying to


make this a political issue ahead of the elections? No, council


elections are about improving local communities, not dividing them as


John wishes to. This is about standing up for the values of


equality and tolerance in Scotland. Whatever you, John? This is about


the imposition by a minority and an understanding of marriage that the


world has never seen before being imposed on local authorities.


you trying to make this an election issue? You want people to vote on


this issue? Yes, we want them to check with councillors what they


will do in schools, will we have children taught this way? How do


you feel about that? I think John and the Catholic Church is one


example to have every right to not conduct same-sex marriages. The


proposals and our campaign is not calling for that. There is a wider


agenda going on. What is the election agenda? I think it is


unfortunate because it is dividing communities. Why? You divide it


today. Telling people they should not vote for candidates who support


same-sex marriages. With asking for... We are running short of time.


We are asking for candidates who will support freedoms. This is a


taste of what will come in the imposition of a minority view in


the rest of society. You are saying it should be settled in a


referendum. One that suit you? don't think it is necessary. Do you


think you would lose? Four out of five parties had this in their


manifestos, so we elect them at They do a good job. Taxpayers'


money goes to fund your campaign. They have pushed politicians and


without thinking, it is live and let live, but they realise the


impact this has on the rest of society. How much have you spent?


How much? �50,000. You spend millions of pounds of taxpayers'


money. Millions. John and Tom, thank you both very much. Ahead of


this week's local election, Iain Hamilton has been dispatched to the


four corners of the country to find out what folk are talking about. In


his forth and final report he's headed west to Islay. The global


whisky boom is helped bring much needed tourism to the local economy.


But as with many rural areas, the challenges of affordable housing,


transport costs and low wages are major factors in people's lives.


Not that this has affected their spirit, as Iain reports. The Isle


of Islay. Remote. Tranquil. And beautiful. So, why have I found


myself in the middle of this...? For families who come from here and


those who move here, they are clear about why they make this their home.


Everybody knows your children. You can speak to everybody and the main


thing is committed to spread. There is no were like this island. I know


that my children are safe, I can let their children play in the


cordon and not on tour. -- in the garden. In the mainland, you cannot


take your eyes off them for one minute. It isn't all rosy. We are


living in a two-bedroom flat with three children, sharing a room. The


smallest bits to be moved into a single bed and we are crammed into


a single bedroom. There isn't much room. We will sit tight and wait,


basically. When Paul Patterson's relationship broke up, he had to


move back with his parents and younger brother because he could


find nowhere else to live. How difficult is it to buy summer?


wages you would not cover the mortgage for the prices now. The


only decent place to get a job is a Distillery job and that is dead


man's shoes. There has been a huge thing about this million-pound


investment with the hotel and eight new houses. That only scratches the


surface. He is quite nice. Cheeky with good attitude. These sheep are


looked after by Tony. On his parents tenant farm. I am not going


to eat this. I don't think you will be eating less. Tony has a degree


in agriculture so he is fully committed to the lifestyle but


along with many others in his generation, they have found it


almost impossible to get their own tenancy. And there is no guarantee


that Tony will be allowed to take over his parents tenancy when they


eventually retire. I only have 10 sheep, it's a hobby. But he wants


it to be a profession. Young potential farmers believe they can


get started -- cannot get started because so much land is absent in


two private estates when tenancies end. We will have less people in


all of these houses, the houses around, five empty houses on the


neighbouring farms around this small farm and these houses are


empty. The school up the road, that was under threat of closure due to


the lack of pupils. The local shop is closed. This whole valley is


going to be one farm and a couple of holiday homes and then the


ground might well be farmed by men from other parts. If we can get


more people here residing on the land and owning the land, they can


decide if they want to give the land to young people to build


houses and we also have to add affordable housing. And not be


selling plots for �80,000. We need to be selling plots for �10,000.


Get the houses back into the equation and get families back. Get


the lights back on. What has been interesting about my trip is how


much what impact on families is outside the control of the council.


Like the availability of land to build affordable housing and the


high cost of ferries, fuel and food. Fuel is expensive. But I love you


because it's the most beautiful place in the world. I have two


small children and I would not bring them up anywhere else. As I


have travelled around Scotland, from Dundee, Murray, Lanarkshire


and here in the Isle of Islay, one thing is clear. People's passion


for their community and their willingness to stay and make things


better. Renton has worked hard so it's time to give him some fun...


Iain Hamilton. Last Monday we brought you a report from Canada on


lessons from the most recent independence referendum in Quebec


in 1995. And judging by the reaction to our programme, it's


still a very sensitive issue. Our coverage included an interview with


the former Canadian Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff. It has, to put


it mildly, caused something a stir. Tonight he may no longer be a


politician but Michael Ignatieff knows how to what Parliament held


into a frenzy. An interview he gave to the BBC Scotland... For formal -


- former Liberal leader talked about the inevitability of the


separation after back. It focused on the Scottish independence


referendum. The effect of it, we are almost two separate countries.


A asked whether separation is inevitable, he said more powers to


kickback might have been like a good idea at... But it is a way


station, you stop for a while but the logic is independence. For four


quid back? That is eventually when it goes. He suggests that his words


are being taken out of context. Parties are trying to downplay


these remarks but the damage is done. Relief from the good judgment


of the Canadian public that they did not make him Prime Minister and


also, where his Paul Brady... is a glorious future for Canada and


Quebec lying in that great Federation of Canada and Michael in


that it does not think so either. Tomorrow's tapirs... The Herald...


Household debt fears as mortgage rates rise. Homeowners could be


plunged into a spiral of debt as banks hike mortgage repayments.


That the picture of the Blue Knights, the man at the centre of


that, Paul Murray, and how they submit the new bid to take over


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