Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, has sent a message of a “zero tolerance” approach to transphobia saying it should be tackled in the same way as racism and homophobia.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said “silence was not an option” as she addressed reports that a “significant” number of young people had left the party due to its position on trans rights.
The SNP is in the midst of an internal conflict over “differences of opinion” on gender recognition.
Posting a video message to Twitter on Tuesday evening, Sturgeon said she would “do everything” she could in order to convince young people that the SNP “is your party”.
She said: “I know many of you personally, I consider you friends, I have campaigned alongside you.
“You are a credit to our party, and our country. It grieves me deeply you have reached this decision, after much soul-searching, because you consider the SNP to be, at this stage, not a safe, tolerant or welcoming place for trans people.”
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 27, 2021
In a speech which she says was unscripted, the first minister added: “That’s not acceptable to me as SNP leader, and I will do everything I can to change that impression and persuade all of you that the SNP is your party and that you should come home where you belong.”
Internal relations have been strained within the SNP party over proposed amendments to the Hate Crime Bill in Scotland. Many say changes do not go far enough to protect trans people.
Earlier this month, Teddy Hope, a former transgender officer for the official LGBTQ+ wing of the SNP, quit the party. Hope subsequently called for an independent inquiry into alleged transphobia within the SNP.
Hope claimed the SNP has become a “core hub for transphobia” in Scotland and that the party had turned its back on the transgender community.
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.