Former first minister Jack McConnell has urged the Scottish Government to introduce same-sex marriage.
Lord McConnell insisted gays were not "second-class citizens with fewer rights" as he called on MSPs and ministers to "go for equality over discrimination".
He made the plea in a public letter to the Equality Network, which has been campaigning for same-sex marriage to be introduced.
Some 77,000 people responded to a Scottish Government consultation on the issue, with ministers expected to announce their decision in the coming days.
At the start of the consultation the Government said it "tends towards the view" that same-sex marriage should be introduced, but that faith groups and their celebrants should not be obliged to solemnise the ceremonies.
Lord McConnell was first minister when civil partnerships were introduced and argued that prior to this same-sex couples "had few of the basic rights that other couples could take for granted", including the "right to have their relationships recognised in the eyes of the law".
But while he said civil partnerships were "the right thing for Scotland in 2005 it is clear that attitudes have progressed".
He added it was now time to give same-sex couples the "full legal and social equality that they deserve".
In his letter, the former Labour MSP said: "In Scotland today almost everyone will know a gay family member, friend or colleague. Like my family most Scots will want to see the people they love and care about treated as equals, not as second-class citizens with fewer rights and a lesser status."
Tom French, policy co-ordinator for the Equality Network, said he was "delighted by Lord McConnell's firm support for equal marriage".