"Politics is all about people. As a Central Scotland MSP it is both a pleasure and a privilege to meet and become involved with a hugely diverse number of people and organisations"

Margaret Mitchell
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Archive for November 2013

Congratulations to NHS Lanarkshire’s ASSET

Nov. 25th 2013

That the Parliament congratulates NHS Lanarkshire’s Age Specialist Service Emergency Team (ASSET) on winning the Health and Social Care Integration category of the Herald Society Awards 2013, which recognise excellent work and achievements in the public and voluntary sector; notes that ASSET, whose work allows people aged 65 and over to be treated and remain at home rather than being taken into hospital, was also commended in the Older People’s Project of the Year category; understands that, due to ASSET, instead of being admitted to hospital, approximately 80% of those referred by the team are able to remain at home; commends the team, which is made up of consultants, nurses, rehabilitation staff, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and a trained psychiatric nurse, on its hard work and dedication, and believes that this person-centred approach to care is key to supporting older people in the Lanarkshire area.

Posted by Kate | in Latest news, Motions, Parliament

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill

Nov. 22nd 2013

On Wednesday Scottish Parliament voted on Stage 1 of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill. Margaret was one of 15 MSPs who voted against the Bill.

Commenting on her decision, Margaret, who spoke in Wednesday’s debate, said:

‘Equality, from an equal opportunities perspective, is not about seeking to make everyone the same, but rather it is about the elimination of discrimination and promotion of fairness and diversity.

‘As convener of the Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee from 2007 – 2011, I believe the proposal to redefine marriage is not justified for three primary reasons.

‘In the first instance, the government’s decision to legislate for equal marriage by redefining the meaning of marriage blurs the distinction between state /civil matters, where it does have a right to legislate and religious belief and religious teachings, where it does not.

‘Furthermore, there are two equality strands which, by redefining marriage, are set in competition with each other, namely, sexual orientation and religious belief  and each must be treated fairly. 

‘Third, many people who believe in the traditional idea of marriage, as a union between a man and a woman, campaigned successfully to have discrimination against same sex couples removed by supporting civil partnerships and promoting rights for same sex cohabitees.

‘They did so despite the fears voiced that this would undermine marriage, because it was the fair and correct thing to do to ensure same sex couples had equal legal rights.

‘Now these same people are finding that there is little reciprocal empathy and/or tolerance from those who argue most vociferously for Equal Marriage.

‘There is nothing remotely fair in redefining marriage and in doing so diminishing and dismissing the deeply held religious beliefs of those who are opposed to same sex marriage

‘Moreover, passing this legislation will do nothing to address the unacceptable abuse of LBGT individuals which still exists.’

You can read the Official Report of the debate here:

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