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The referendum bill and same sex marriage will be at the heart of the SNP's plans for the coming year.
The First Minister Alex Salmond will reveal 15 key pieces of legislation at Holyrood later.
A Indpendence referendum has already been planned for 2014.
With MSPs returning to the Scottish Parliament after their summer recess, Alex Salmond will unveil his Government's legislative programme.
As well as a referendum Bill, the programme may include legislation to introduce gay marriage. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced recently that the Government intends to change the law to allow same-sex couples to wed.