Part of the problem is that the Scottish “Government” (correctly the “Executive”), which is terrified of offending the Catholics, exploited a loophole in the equality regulations to allow the Catholic adoption agencies in effect to continue discriminating against gay people. In other words there is no leadership.
As Harry said in comment 1, the SNP Scottish Government helped a Catholic adoption agency in Glagow called St. Margaret’s to get around the new laws about gay adoption so that they are STILL allowed to refuse service to same sex couples. I’ve ben trying to get something done about this by contacting MSP’s and MEP’s but I’ve got nowehere so far despite an MSP and an MEP saying that they think it’s wrong and the Equality and Human Rights Commission saying that they think it’s wrong. None of them seem to want to actually do anything about it though.
The situation with St Margaret’s should not put anyone off applying to be adoptive parents in Scotland. St Margaret’s is the one and only Catholic adoption agency in Scotland. Just don’t go anywhere near it (unless you want to be a test case of course!).
The exact legal situation with Catholic adoption agencies, across the UK, is still up in the air. There’s no doubt that the law was intended to prevent the agencies discriminating. (It’s ‘reserved’ UK law – not within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.) But there is an ongoing court case involving Catholic Care (Leeds). It is not yet clear whether the law will do what it was meant to do, or whether there are unintended loopholes in the law which will allow the agencies to continue discriminating.
If so, it would be up to the UK Govt to change the law to close the loopholes, and it would remain to be seen whether the Con/Lib Govt would do that.
Of course public support from the Scottish Govt for the principle of non-discrimination in this area, would help put pressure on St Margaret’s, and would help promote equality, but that public support is currently not there.
Tim, it’s all very well saying that St. Margaret’s is the only adoption agency in Scotland who discriminates against same-sex couples and to stay away from it, but the point is that the supposedly left-wing Scottish National Party actively helped this situation to come about. They tried to get exemption from the new legislation for all Catholic adoption agencies in Scotland but Westminster refused. Another Catholic adoption agency in Edinburgh called St. Andrew’s (I think) simply complied with the legislation and Cardinal O’Brien resigned as chairperson (or whatever role it was) of that agency. So the SNP administration actually put a good bit of effort into “helping” St. Margaret’s.
When you add this to other incidences of the SNP not being gay-friendly, then you’ve got to ask if the party as a whole is homophobic, even just a wee bit. I mean things like Fergus Ewing supporting the Christian fire-fighters who refused to attend Gay Pride, Roseanna Cunninghame tabling an ammendment to stop gay couples from adopting, the SNP’s major donor, Brian Souter, who they’ve already changed a policy to suit, on bus re-regulation.
It does make me a little concerned about what an independent Scotland could be like for gay people.
“It does make me a little concerned about what an independent Scotland could be like for gay people.”
Much better than it is now!
The SNP’s a broad kirk – the independence banner brings in a lot of people of varied opinions, including the ones you’ve mentioned. The adoption vote, iirc, was a free vote – Roseanna put in that amendment, but it failed to win support. The Party didn’t back it, and neither did the majority of the SNP MSPs.
When we get independence, it will up to the people to vote in a left or centre or right wing party. The vast, vast majority of SNP members will remain in the left/centre-left fighting for Social Justice.