The interaction between faith and politics has become a hot issue in Scotland once again.

As a Christian in public life this gives me the opportunity to explain to constituents how I go about my work.

Like most Scottish Christians, I back LGBTQ equality, not in spite of my faith but because of it. Jesus stood with and for the marginalised and excluded. He preached a radical message of liberation. Not once did he say anything in condemnation of LGBTQ people.

Equal marriage was passed into law a decade ago with the support of 60 per cent of Scottish Christians.

Since then both the Church of Scotland and Episcopal Church have started conducting same-sex marriages. The Kirk has also issued an unconditional apology to the LGBTQ community for the hurt it caused in the past.

In a society where queer people once again face growing hate and discrimination, I believe Jesus would stand on the side of love.

The debate around the SNP’s leadership election has seen some people ask whether a person of faith can lead the country. As a Christian in politics, to me that question misses the point completely.

Plenty of the prominent figures leading the renewed campaign of hate against the UK’s LGBTQ community are atheists, so social conservativism or even outright bigotry clearly aren’t the preserve of the religious.

Some have suggested a politician’s religious beliefs should be separate from their political ones, but how would that work? My values are shaped by my faith and put into practice through politics. Atheists aren’t expected to separate their morals from their political ideology, it’s just not possible. Why should people of faith be expected to create that artificial divide?

The issue is whether anyone, a person or faith or not, believes that everyone should be treated equally before the law.

I’m proud my church, the Kirk, has embraced equal marriage, that many of our ministers now march at Pride and that we support the upcoming ban on ‘conversion therapy’.

Other churches have considered the same issues and come to the opposite conclusion. But it should be possible for a politician to say that while they don’t think their own Church should conduct same-sex marriages, they also believe the law should treat everyone equally.

Voting for equal marriage in Parliament and against it in your faith group is reconcilable. Church and state are different things. Religious groups are voluntary and free to set their own rules, but we all live under the same laws and they should treat us all equally.

That vision of a Scotland where everyone is treated equally and with dignity is one the Scottish Greens expect any candidate for First Minister to agree to if they wish our support.