The consultation on marriage equality started in Scotland.
The government will study if they allow "religious ceremonies for civil partnerships and the possible introduction of same-sex marriage".
"The Scottish government is choosing to make its initial views clear at the outset of this consultation.
"We tend towards the view that religious ceremonies for civil partnerships should no longer be prohibited and that same sex marriage should be introduced so that same-sex couples have the option of getting married if that is how they wish to demonstrate their commitment to each other.
"We also believe that no religious body or its celebrants should be required to carry out same-sex marriages or civil partnership ceremonies," said deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
In Scotland, a study carried out in 2010 showed that 61% of the population is favorable to the marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
"We welcome the start of the consultation, and we very much welcome the Scottish government’s stated initial position in favour of same sex marriage. It’s an excellent consultation paper covering all the issues.
"Now it will be really important for all supporters of equality and fairness to respond to the consultation, so that our voices are heard, and so that the Scottish government knows how important it is to legislate for equal marriage as soon as practicable," said Tim Hopkins from Equality Network.