The Scottish Parliament has come under attack from equality campaigners after failing to reach a decision on the legalisation of same-sex marriages.
Cabinet ministers in the SNP Government discussed the proposals at a meeting in Edinburgh yesterday; however, they failed to reach a conclusion, deciding instead that the matter requires further debate.
The policy will not go to a referendum.
It is widely anticipated that the Scottish Government would move to legislate on the matter before their Westminster counterparts, and this would still seem to be the case as the coalition has stated that the policy will not be included in this parliamentary session.
The decision to delay an announcement on the policy in Scotland has angered groups including the Equality Network who believe the SNP has shown weak leadership on the issue.
"It is time the Scottish Government demonstrated its leadership on this issue and announced a decision," Tom French, the policy coordinator for the Equality Network told the Press Association.
"Same-sex marriage is supported by the majority of Scots and the majority of MSPs. The Government has had seven months to analyse the consultation responses and to deal with the detail. We cannot understand why there is any need for further delay," he added.
The SNP were clear that a decision on the policy would be reached in the coming weeks; however, this has done little to pacify those who believe they are scared of stating their views on the matter for fear of alienating a proportion of the electorate that is against the proposal.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Scottish-born actor John Barrowman accused UK governments of lacking conviction on the issue.
"Prime Minister David Cameron's Government wanted to promote marriage amongst gay men and women then when they lost a lot of Conservative seats at the last local elections, it was taken off the agenda," he said.
Same-sex marriage law delay slammed (The Scotsman)