Sturgeon said churches would not be forced to perform the marriages, The Scotsman reported.
"The Scottish Government understands and respects the fact that there are very deeply held views in Scotland both for and against same sex marriage and, in coming to our decision, we have had to carefully consider a number of different factors," Sturgeon was quoted as saying.
"We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships. We believe that this is the right thing to do."
Sturgeon said there is significant parliamentary support for the legislation, which will be introduced late this year.