Scotland will become the first part of the UK to allow gay marriages, the SNP have announced.
The Scottish Government will introduce legislation that may see the first same sex marriage take place at the beginning of 2015.
How is this different from the current legal position?
At present, same sex couples can enter into civil partnerships. Civil partners gain the same legal status as spouses but civil partnerships are viewed as fundamentally different, in that they cannot be formed in a religious ceremony and are seen as distinct from marriage.
Equality campaigners are hailing the Government’s announcement as a step forward in a progressive and equal Scotland, however there has also been strong criticism from various church leaders arguing that there is an undermining of the principle that marriage is between a man and a woman.
You can see some of the coverage in The Scotsman and The Herald today, or read more about civil partnerships here.