I enjoyed Marco Biagi’s well-balanced piece on the Scottish Government’s Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill (News, November 20).
So far religious opposition has amounted to the meaningless repetition of “Marriage is for a man and a woman” with no further arguments being offered, and has now focused on claims that there is insufficient protection for celebrants who don’t wish to perform same-sex ceremonies.
It is disingenuous to hide behind this when what some might really feel is a simple distaste for homosexuality.
They are of course entitled to that private view though any similar discrimination shown towards racial or even religious minorities would attract the attention of equality laws.
That religious celebrants are given power by the state to marry couples plus the continued freedom to marry only those of whom they approve is a gross example of religious privilege. Who would want to stand in front of an unwilling celebrant anyway?
Those who oppose marriage equality will soon be on the wrong side of history and their increasingly desperate manoeuvrings serve only to embarrass the many decent Christians who welcome it.
Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh
Stopping vile abuse must be top priority
It is very strange that with modern technology, Google and other suppliers can do virtually nothing to stop vile paedophiles abusing children on the web.
These paedophiles and the people involved in the showing of children being sexually abused should be locked up for life.
Politicians should make it their top priority to prevent it happening and if they don’t try they will not be able to look at themselves in the mirror. And any politicians talking about personal freedoms being involved in this serious matter should be exposed.
John Connor, David Henderson Court, Dunfermline, Fife
‘No’ camp took us to recession
THE Unionist “Better Together” campaign says that if Scotland votes Yes, taxes may have to be raised.
Maybe the No camp could inform your readers of any former government who did not ever raise taxation in the UK.
The SNP are smart enough not to lead Scotland into poverty, and if the SNP thought for one moment mass poverty would ensue from a Yes vote, they would never advocate it.
The UK Unionists have overseen gross inequalities in the British system for centuries and are in no position to try to frighten people away from saying Yes. After all, under their watch the country went into recession.
Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Avenue, Edinburgh
Praise is due for the city’s festive thrills
It is admirable that the News stands up for value for money for Edinburgh residents (Xmas rides more expensive than London, News, November 21).
However, I do think that the changes to this year’s Christmas Festival should be praised for changing and raising the quality of the events, which in the last few years had become tired.
When the Christmas Festival was conceived, Edinburgh already had the phenomenally successful and world famous Hogmanay celebrations. Despite that success, hotel occupancy during December was not much more than 40 per cent before the Christmas Festival started, and the city struggled to lay claim to being a year-round tourism destination.
It’s much higher now, and there are many more hotel beds to fill. There are more jobs for Edinburgh residents as well.
When it comes to tackling inclusion and helping the less well off, the key is getting people into work. Our tourism and retail sectors are critical to giving career opportunities to those who may not always have lots of formal qualifications. A shop or hotel worker can rise through their business to become a senior manager or even set up their own company.
With more than 30,000 jobs in the Edinburgh area dependent on tourism, there are few better ways to help Edinburgh’s disadvantaged residents than by investing in tourism.
I also believe very strongly that the crossover from the summer festivals is to be encouraged. Karen Koren made a huge contribution to building Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival, just as I am confident that those involved in the fantastic success of the Underbelly are well placed to take it to new heights, generating more jobs and higher incomes for Edinburgh families. And the Christmas programme looks like great fun as well.
Donald Anderson, The Spinney, Edinburgh
Who will pay for the migrants’ pensions?
Alex Salmond has revealed plans to open Scotland’s borders to a fresh wave of immigrants following a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.
No thought about the 201,000 already unemployed in Scotland.
The SNP continue to peddle the myth that immigration is good for the economy and that immigrants are needed to pay for our pensions.
Immigration as a solution to the pension problem has long been dismissed by all serious studies.
The UN World Economic and Social Survey reported: “Incoming migration would have to expand at virtually impossible rates to offset declining support ratios, that is, workers per retirees.”
In other words, immigrants also age, become pensioners and become part of the problem.
Migrationwatch reported that an immigrant with a wife and two children had to earn more that £28,000 a year to pay more in tax and Nic than he received in welfare and housing benefits.
Perhaps the First Minister chooses not to read uncomfortable reports.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow