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Video: SNP leader Alex Salmond urges gay people to be proud

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  1. Stuart Neyton 17 Oct 2011, 5:12pm

    I wonder what Brian Souter thinks about this.

    Good on him!

  2. Derek Williams 17 Oct 2011, 5:18pm

    What a wonderful, heartfelt speech from the First Minister. I hope LGBT youth presently contemplating suicide will take heed of his comforting and encouraging words.

  3. Have to credit him for doing this. If for no other reason that one more on our side is one less on theirs (although taking sides for the sake of human rights, dignity and freedom from bullying shouldn’t be necessary).

  4. why oh why do religious nutjobs have to get involved and condemn and threaten. What the hell is it that they hope to achieve? It is natural for a man to walk on water but not for a man to love another man.

    Good on Salmond for lending his support and not bowing down to the views of religion.

    1. A fantastic speech, demonstrating that Scotland is at least a modern realistic and fair country. I am straight and proud of who I am, regardless of orientation you should have the same rights, wish this guy was PM of Britain.

    2. The nut jobs are poofs and are full of envy andd bile.

    3. While I can’t imagine he was ever too worried about the Catholic church (there’s little evidence that the laity take orders from the clergy on how to vote), it’s undeniably impressive that he’s defying Souter in this way.

  5. Sounds more and more like a great guy.

  6. Well done scotland. Add this to no student fees and scotland puts us to shame

  7. It shows the SNP are listening to criticism that has been made on their prior approach to LGBT issues. I am pleased that they have listened and hope this enlightened attitude pervades their consideration of the Scottish equal marriage consultation.

  8. JesusFreak 17 Oct 2011, 6:39pm

    Be proud? Proud to be sent to hell?

    1. You’ll be there first for not doing as Jesus Christ said by not judging others. You’re NO christian! He NEVER condemned homosexuality.

      1. jesus never, but God did. get your facts right

        1. Dr Robin Guthrie 17 Oct 2011, 10:56pm

          Which “facts” are these.

          The ones from your 2000 year old mistranslated fairy story?

          How gullible you are to be taken in by such tripe.

          1. JesusFreak 18 Oct 2011, 2:15am

            Hmmm, we will see come judgement day…

        2. Original interpretation of the word ‘fact’.

    2. Commander Thor 17 Oct 2011, 7:12pm

      Hell is good!!

    3. Jesus hates homophobes . . . !!!

      What makes you think you will get into heaven?

      1. Strange how some Christians repeatedly choose gay people to focus their bigotry on …

        It seems strange when I was under the impression that Jesus told Christians to love their neighbour as themselves …

        Good to see Salmond being positive on LGBT issues

        1. JesusFreak 18 Oct 2011, 2:22am

          Jesus Christ said you cannot serve 2 masters.
          In both of these cases the Devil is the person’s master
          and it is the Devil whom he or she serves.
          Anybody can say “I am a Christian”
          but Jesus Christ says otherwise!

          For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
          and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

          You need to publicily denouce your homosexuality!

          Same as Rev 13:16-18

        2. JesusFreak 18 Oct 2011, 2:29am

          If God had intended the human race to be fulfilled through both heterosexual and homosexual marriage, He would have designed our bodies to allow reproduction through both means and made both means of sexual intercourse healthy and natural. Homosexual anal intercourse carries a high risk of disease, this is recognized in Scripture where gay men are said to receive in their bodies the due penalty for their error (Romans 1:27).

          1. Sex is not purely about reproduction – false and irrelevant argument

    4. Proud not to be coerced into not being who you are by irrational lunatics identifying with a sadistic deity who threatens eternal punishment for disobeying mad taboos.

    5. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 18 Oct 2011, 3:29pm

      So yeshuafreak, where is this hell exactly? Below heaven, perhaps? So where is heaven then? Up in the sky?! And who does the sending? How is this done exactly? On a list? Good vs Bad? How is the list compiled? As you seem to be in the know, care to elaborate for our entertainment?!

      No?! We’ll sorry to break it to you, honey, but there is no such place as heaven or hell or a yahweh bloke who can see approx 7 billion people on his super-duper radar. Your bibble is just a boring, highly violent and disturbing book that leptons like you take for granted because you feel small and that your world is changing in ways they don’t understand and feel threatened by. It’s a book that causes more problems than it solves.

      Salmond may not have all the answers for Scotchland but good on him for doing this.

      Religio-freak… awa’n boil yer haid, as we scotch would say – as if it’s much use anyway!

  9. A beautiful speech. Very moving. I felt he was being sincere.

  10. Well done and a very heartfelt speech. You get the feeling that Scotland is a fair bit ahead of the rest of the UK.

    I am sure Peter Robinson’s Youtube video is just delayed in the editing suite (Iris is just adding a few supportive words of her own).

  11. Paul, Edinburgh 17 Oct 2011, 7:01pm

    Well done Alex Salmond. As an English student studying in Edinburgh, I followed the scottish elections, and the SNP seem pretty progressive. The SNP government are legislating to make gay marriage equal in law in Scotland, and way beyond civil partnerships. I guess they don’t have to make that a priority, but they have, and I take my hat off to them. From the Catholic church reaction and Scottish media this seems like a vote loser, which is why I am even more impressed that Salmond made his Its Gets Better video. I might even vote SNP next time!

  12. George Fooked, Cumnock 17 Oct 2011, 7:07pm

    Stu, the SNP were the first party in the UK to demand equal immigration rights for LGBT partners, and it is the SNP administration which is introducing the first equal marriage legislation laws in the UK. Salmond and the SNP voted for equal age of consent back in the 90’s when Labour and Tories opposed it. What are you talking about?

    1. The SNP are moving in leaps and bounds now … BUT … there has been hesitancy from Salmond to speak out publically in favour of LGBT issues – there was the lack of action on Bill Watson MSP for his bigoted comments … there has been concern about being in hock with Souter and other homophobic individuals and groups ….
      The consultation and this video are better forms of action, they need to sustain this as there has been reason to be concerned in the past and they need to build confidence … thats happening but it needs sustaining

    2. Stu has a point about the SNP. There are at least 2 homophobes in the Scottish cabinet – Roseanna Cunningham and Fergus Ewing – both of whom have in the past openly advocated discrimination against LGBT people. There was a news report that Cunningham should have been responsible for the same-sex marraige consultation as it falls under her department, but she refused to do it and Nicola Sturgeon was told to do it instead. I don’t know if this is true, but I’m trying to find out. As Stu points out, the SNP’s biggest funder is Brian Souter. They dropped their bus re-regulation policy to suit him in 2007 – they could easily drop other policies in future to suit him. The SNP Government, in their first term, helped a Catholic adoption agency in Glasgow to get around the equality laws brought in by the UK Government. They are still legally allowed to refuse gay people – I got a letter from Angela Constance (the Minister for Children) a couple of months ago saying this was still the case.

    3. While I agree that any and every step to be more gay-friendly by the SNP (and any political party for that matter) has to be a good thing, I also think that every single instance of homophobia has to be stamped out. Salmond could continue this good work by telling Souter to shove his money up his a*se and sacking Roseanna Cunningham and Fergus Ewing from his cabinet for a start. After all, people who are openly racist would never be given Ministerial jobs, so why are homophobes allowed in the SNP?

      1. BennieM thinks that there are ‘homophobes’ in the SNP. Really? So what exactly is homophobia, ‘An extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.’ Can you specify the form of ‘extreme’ AND ‘irrational’ behaviour by either Ewing or Cunningham? Did Ewing not attend Dumfries Pride in 2008? To call them homophobic, is a bit slanderous. That is not to defend some of the comments or decisions they have been associated with, but ‘homophobic’! Come on.

        1. @ WTF – I think your answer to BennieM is rather harsh. You are using the dictionary definition of homophobia to make your point, but, we all know that the word is no longer used in that context. By using the dictionary definition, very few people could ever be truly called homophobic. I would say BennieM makes a good point. I’ve read over previous threads and he makes the same points. I’ve not noticed any comprehensive replies to the points he raises that fully satisfies me. You clearly seem to be involved with the SNP or, at least are a very strong supporter of them. Why don’t you answer the points he makes, rather than just attack him. Several months ago, I asked a genuine question regarding the SNP and how they voted with regards to the repeal of Section 28. You replied to my post saying that no SNP members voted against. YWhat you failed to mention was that there were some abstentions. Therefore, ever since, I have been less than trusting of your replies when it comes to the SNP.

          1. @Gerry

            Well said.

            Even the most ardent of supporters of any political party would be (at best) blinkered if they did not recognise that there are homophobes and bigots in all political parties.

            Homophobia is not a strict dictionary definition – its an attitude – you are very right. Whilst I think BennieM is a little harsh on the SNP, I understand why and anyone with an open mind would see that the SNP need to prove they have changed and that includes dealing with Bill Watson, Cunningham and the Souter donations.

          2. @Stu

            You’re right, I am perhaps a bit harsh on the SNP, and maybe I need to give them credit when they do something like this.

            It’s just that I used to vote and support the SNP and I thought they were 100% committed to gay equality. So I was really surprised and disappointed when they took Souter’s half a million quid in 2007, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic, I felt let down and betrayed by them.

            While this video by Alex Salmond was good, I can’t help but think that he went back to his cabinet meeting after filming it and happily worked alongside Roseanna Cunningham and then maybe had a chat on the phone with Brian Souter and rounded off the day by arranging a meeting with a Catholic bishop. How does that any of that fit in with what he says in the video?

            I just wish he’d stamp out all homophobia within the SNP rather than picking and choosing what he speaks out about and what he remains silent on – John Mason and Bill Walker, for example.

          3. @BennieM

            I absolutely understand where you are coming from … I think our criticism of the SNP is similar, perhaps my approach to confronting in comes froma slightly different perspective …

            I hope this is a good example of Salmond and the SNP moving forward on LGBT issues – but he and they can not just leave it here – there are lots of other issues to contend with … most of them you have carefully discussed above …

        2. Fergus Ewing abstained in the vote to repeal Section 28. He supported Stratchclyde fire-fighters who had refused to go to gay pride and later when he was the minister responsible for the fire service one of them received an apology and damages. He repeatedly knocked back a reccommendation by the Petitions Committee for the Scot Gov to Legislate for same-sex marriage in their first term. He is a Catholic.

          Roseanna Cunningham tabled an ammendment during a debate on updating the adoption and fostering laws which called for gay people to be banned from adopting. She said it went “against 1000 years of nature’s design.” It was also reported in the news that she should be responsible for the same-sex marriage consultation as it falls under her department but she refused. I don’t know if this is true, but I’m in the process of trying to confirm or deny it. She is also a Catholic.

      2. BennieM thinks that there are ‘homophobes’ in the SNP. Really? So what exactly is homophobia, ‘An extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.’ Can you specify the form of ‘extreme’ AND ‘irrational’ behaviour by either Ewing or Cunningham? Did Ewing not attend Dumfries Pride in 2008? To call them homophobic, is a bit slanderous. That is not to defend some of the comments or decisions they have been associated with, but ‘homophobic’! Come on.

        1. I believe BennieM has a point, and you know it, sir.

          1. …or madam.

        2. @WTF

          I think you are being obtuse when you try and claim that there is no homophobia in the SNP ….

        3. I believe that Roseanna Cunningham standing up in Parliament and saying that gay adoption went “against 1000 years of nature’s design” is shockingly homophobic. In 20 or 30 years time we will all look back on this period and laugh about how we allowed our politician’s to get away with saying stuff like this. Seriously, ALL the political parties need to get rid of the people within their ranks who spout this homophobic nonsense. And before you bring up the free speech argument, let me just kill that one now. I am all for free speech. However, I would not accept an MP or an MSP standing up in Parliament and saying that non-white people are inferior or less deserving of equality because it is not ‘natural’ for them to be living in this country. I would imagine that very few people would find that acceptable. No-one would bring up the free speech argument in those circumstances. So, I will not allow that red-herring to be used against me.

          1. Well said, Gerry! You’re spot on with this one!

  13. I honestly thought the guy was a homophobe so i’m happy to be proved wrong!
    Thanks Alex!

    1. I think I have been proved wrong too.

      I liked the video.

      I hope his attitude is sustained

  14. George Fooked, Cumnock 17 Oct 2011, 7:14pm

    Tigra, Salmond voted for equal age of consent in the 1980s UK parliament as an MP, and voted for equal recognition of partnership for immigration in the early 90’s as an MP. He is no homophobe. Look at what his government is doing on gay marriage!

    1. George

      I agree, Salmond’s voting behaviour is curious, and especially inlight of the fact that Homosexuality was still illegal in Scotland untill 1980.
      Although Scots law was brought into line with English law on homosexuality by a Robin Cook amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill.

      1. I’m of two minds about Salmond…. this seems to be a complete turn-around, and it’s common knowledge there are homophobes sitting next to him at his meetings.

        If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

        Jus’ saying.

        1. Jonpol, you make a good point.

          On the one hand Salmond and the SNP appear to be pro-gay equality with things like this video and the same-sex marriage consultation.

          But on the other hand he takes money from Souter (a major homophobe), he gave 2 well-known homophobes ministerial jobs in his cabinet (which they still hold) and his government helped a catholic adoption agency to get around equality laws and be allowed to refuse to provide service to gay people (which is still the case).

          There is an inconsistency in his and the SNP’s attitude to gay equality. You can’t pick and choose like this, either you’re in favour of full equality for gay people or you aren’t.

    2. The recent issues I have had with Salmond has been his lack of indicating how he expects the outcome of the consultation, unlike Cameron who has used the very supportive and dynamic – its a consultation not of IF or WHEN but on HOW … instead the SNP will wait and see what the consultation shows but are “minded” towards equal marriage – that leaves an option to say no to marriage … Equally, Salmond granting the Archbishop of Glasgow an audience to discuss the issue of same sex marriage, whether the case or not, appears to give a sense of partiality and preferential treatment to the RC church which is disappointing.

      I welcome this video as evidence that my concerns may not be as I interpreted – but that demonstrates Salmond needs to be careful in the decisions he makes as they could be misinterpreted and make him appear tacitly bigoted – or is he just trying to keep the Souter donations coming?

  15. It is good too see a first minister who ministers good instead of evil like the other false prophets, and false christians marching in hate and terrorism and abuse, everyone no they are not real christians and real ministries, just of satan occultism, Alex needs to continue his good work and not be deterred by any brown nosing people who caters to heirs of piousness , bigotry is wrong and the effects of you shows it is everyday, its not love and peace and it doesnt bring the world together in harmony, it destroys lives and self esteems of children and others and keeps our nations and countries and hate and war from jealous vindictive and hippocrites like philip hinkle, and ted haggard, and the us archbishop caught kid pornography and accompliise to child rape and molestations, lttle boys, no as much as the catholic hate few accults the rest are human rights equality advocates, and the hate groups are aleady been in troulble for sexual assaults in their hate filled catholic churches

    1. What she said.

  16. The easiest way to respond the the Scottish Government consultation on “Civil Partnership: Same Sex Marriage” is MOST DEFINITELY via the following link:-

    simply answer 20 closed questions by choosing YES or NO.. THEN click SEND… Simple as that!! After each question, there is the option to answer in detail.

    Please note: Each of the 20 questions is accompanied by a separate explanatory “note/paragraph” that can be easily viewed via the following link (adobe acrobat file). The “notes” are of particular relevance to Question 8 & 17.

    I urge everybody with an interest to respond to this consultation.

    Reason: The catholic church is staging a HUGE campaign against this consultation. Therefore, every voice counts…

    1. this consultation ends on 9th December 2011…

    2. JesusFreak 18 Oct 2011, 2:40am

      If God had intended the human race to be fulfilled through both heterosexual and homosexual marriage, He would have designed our bodies to allow reproduction through both means and made both means of sexual intercourse healthy and natural. Homosexual anal intercourse carries a high risk of disease, this is recognized in Scripture where gay men are said to receive in their bodies the due penalty for their error (Romans 1:27). Can’t argue with FACT

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 18 Oct 2011, 6:12am

        F OFF DK WAD

      2. Oh, Romans 1.27 refers to anal intercourse in general and homosexual anal intercourse in particular, does it? Another highly original interpretation.

        I think the second part of your tag is accurate.

      3. Oi l only answer to god you can fak off

        1. Dr Robin Guthrie 18 Oct 2011, 9:54am

          So why do you use JesusFreak as a name.

          Why not under your own James! tag.



          A Scottish man has been sentenced to an 8-month prison term for sending out anti-Catholic messages over the internet.

          I’m pretty sure your rantings could be deemed as hate speech,

          1. Actually my name is not James and i am a female, fighting so that God’s love will reach people and they will repent and be saved

          2. If God exists, I am sure he still loves me regardless of who my committed long term relationship is with …

            It speaks more of you and your insidious obsession with sexual matters than of your “God”

            However, I feel your beliefs are without evidence

        2. Dave North 18 Oct 2011, 1:36pm

          Actually. No you do not. You also render to Caesar and don’t forget it. Your God commands it.

  17. Bill (Scotland) 17 Oct 2011, 11:12pm

    I am not a supporter of Alex Salmond or the political aims of the SNP, but credit where credit it due, I think what he has said in this video and the way in which he expressed himself is unqualifiedly positive and welcome.

  18. Thank you for your support, Alex Salmond.

    Excellent video.

    1. you’re a saint.

  19. God bless him, now he is a good Christian.

  20. Peter & Michael 18 Oct 2011, 8:33am

    Looks like Scotland will be first to legalise Same-Sex Marriage Equality in the UK and good on them! The rest of the UK will have to undergo a process period over 4/5 years before any change of Same-Sex marriage status can happen.

  21. Don’t like the in your-face-saltires at either side of him, far too nationalistic for my taste, and most others in Scotland.

    At the very start, when civil partnerships were being muted, the Scottish judiciary told them to ‘just amend the marriage act’. We wouldn’t have had civil partnerships, nor this controversy about upgrading to marriage had they followed this advice.

    They’re just making political capital out of it.

    1. As a non Scot (so perhaps not the best judge, but you could see me as an impartial observer?) – quite like the appearance of the saltires as they speak to me of a sense of pride in his nation, whilst he is speaking with pride about the need to accept LGBT people – my take on it …

      1. Dr. R Guthrie 19 Oct 2011, 2:12am


        As a Scotsman, I take great pride in the bit of land I was born in.

        Unfortunately, I,m forced to live and work in South Wales for a Welsh Assembly subsidised global conglomerate as there are next to no private sector jobs left in Scotland due to Labour and SNP policies.

        45% of Scottish jobs are in the public sector.

        1. @Dr Guthrie

          Have to agree with your comments …

          I thought most Scots people were proud of their nation and would be happy (whether they were of the same political hue or not) of see their First Minister next to Saltaires declaring passionately that equality is important.

          Coming from North East England I am also passionate about where I come from and feel a sense of solidarity with Scots …

    2. doug – Civil partnerships were introduced in 2004, before the SNP were in office. Bit daft to blame them for not amending the marriage act at that point.

  22. Jeff Duncan 18 Oct 2011, 2:42pm

    Alex Salmond has never been afraid of doing what he believes is the right thing to do. I am sure he will never cave in to the Catholic Bigots in Scotland.

    Well done First Minister!

    1. He caved into the Catholic bigots during his first term in office when he told them, in an article he wrote for the Catholic Observer newspaper, that he’d do everything he could to make sure catholic adoption agencies in Scotland would be exempt from the equality legislation on goods and services which the UK brought in in 2007. He asked the UK government for indefinate exemption which was refused. So Fiona Hyslop, the then Education Secretary, held several meetings with the catholic church to help St. Margaret’s adoption agency in Glasgow get around the equality legislation – so they got involved in a reserved matter which the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government had no responsibility for. St. Margaret’s is still allowed to refuse service to gay people to this day – I got a letter from confirming this about 2 months ago from Angela Constance, the Minister for Children in the Scottish Government.

      If Salmond and the SNP are not afraid of doing the right thing, why did they go out of their way to make sure this adoption agency didn’t have to comply with equality legislation? They put the right of a religion to discriminate above the right to equality for gay people.

      1. Does the same argument you attribute to ‘adoption’ not also apply to marriage? Should the Roman Catholic Church be ‘forced’ to perform religious marriages for same sex couples? Even if that was the SNP position, could they legislate to force the RC Church to perform same-sex marriage? Of course this is not the SNP position, or indeed that of any other political party, nor supported by any of the LGB an T organisations.

        In your ‘adoption’ argument, surely they should be forced! As you mentioned, UK legislation provides for equality matters (not devolved). Equally, any change in marriage legislation which is partially devolved would need to comply with UK equality legislation, right? In that case, forcing the RC Church to perform same sex marriages would contravene UK equality legislation which covers religion. The same is true of adoption. It is for that same reason, the Scottish Government were unable (even if they wanted, although they never did) to change Adoption Laws (devolved)

      2. which would have contravened UK equality legislation.

        Similarly, as per your adoption argument, should the Roman Catholic Church be forced to close for refusing to conduct same sex marriage? I am sure that there are many readers who might think so. However is this being realistic? I mean, the RC Church have been able to discriminate on the grounds of gender without much hullabaloo. This isn’t the first time the RC Church have got away with being discriminatory because they have been exempt from secular law. In fact secular law now protects them even more under equality legislation!

        All RC adoption agencies in the UK, never mind Scotland, have been able to circumvent UK sexual orientation equality legislation by changing their rules so that only ‘married’ couples can adopt. Some chose to close, some chose to allow same sex couples adopt, e.g. the other RC adoption agency in Scotland, St Andrews.

      3. If you are lesbian, gay or bisexual and want to get married (if they legislate for it in Scotland), don’t do knocking on the door of the RC Church. Similarly, if you want to adopt, don’t go knocking on the door of St Margaret’s! Simples. Although, perhaps they will have to change their constitution if same sex couples are allowed to marry since they will then ‘qualify’.

        1. You are trying to defend the indefensible. My reference to the adoption agency was about equality law that makes it illegal to provide goods and services to gay people not about adoption law. All other adoption agencies in Britain had to comply (Catholic Care in Leeds went to court over it and repeatedly lost). My point is the SNP intervened in a reserved matter which they had no responsibility over to help a single adoption agency avoid having to comply with it. A second catholic adoption agency in Edinburgh simply complied with the legislation and the catholic church severed all ties with it – it is still up and running though. The one in Glasgow could have done the same or closed down. It isn’t the same as same-sex marriage – nobody is advocating forcing the catholic church to do it, not even me. You have to ask why the SNP went to so much effort to help in the adoption agency case. By your logic, a supermarket checkout assistant who is catholic could refuse to serve a gay couple and that couple should simply go to another supermarket.

          1. Is marriage not about equality too? So what makes that so different from adoption? No you can’t get married here so go to the next supermarket which allows you to do so. Childish argument BennieM.

            Catholic Adoption Agencies have been allowed to discriminate under UK Government legislation and continue to do so, as you so mentioned.

            If they Catholic Church can be allowed to discriminate against same sex couples getting married why shouldn’t they be allowed to do the same with adoption? So how does that make the SNP ‘homophobic’ yet you don’t cite the same argument re marriage?

          2. Because churches are allowed to refuse to marry anyone, even heterosexual couples. It’s not a matter of only gay couples being refused. A catholic priest can refuse to marry a heterosexual couple in his own congregation if he has a reason to do so.

          3. And my point about the SNP is that they went out of their way to advise St. Margaret’s how to go about changing their constitution so they could legally refuse gay people. As I keep asking, why did they do this when it was a matter of reserved law and also helped to continue discrimination against gay people. If the SNP had not helped St. Margaret’s then they’d still have did what they did anyway, but why did the SNP get involved?

        2. Actually adoption law IS a matter for the Scottish Parliament. They updated the adoption and fostering laws in 2007, and this is when gay couples were allowed to adopt. It wasn’t simply about gay adoption, it was a general updating of the laws. In fact, it was during the debate and vote on this in December 2006 that Roseanna Cunningham tabled her ammendment calling for it to be illegal for gay couples to adopt. A couple of other SNP MSPs voted for her ammendment. Thankfully, it was voted down overall.

          1. Therefore, Cunningham = homophobe. Good example.

        3. My main point is that the SNP Government actively helped the Catholic Church to avoid equality law which was reserved law and not in their jurisdiction. They could have simply refused to help on the grounds that it wasn’t in their power to do anything and also that it was the wrong thing to do. Salmond put the Catholic Church above gay equality on that occasion so he’s hardly 100% committed to gay equality.

          1. ..and he did in fact cave in to the RC…

          2. Exactly right, Jonpol, and my fear is that it could happen again over marriage equality.

        4. WTF – Are you really saying that you believe it’s right that gay people can be discriminated against just for being gay? That’s certainly what it sounds like to me.

          1. Aren’t you saying that, too, though? You said you don’t advocate forcing churches to marry gay people. Why do you think it’s okay for them to discriminate in that case, but not in the case of adoption?

          2. keaton – Personally, I don’t think any church should be allowed to discriminate against anyone at all under any circumstances. But they are allowed to refuse to marry anyone, even heterosexual couples, it’s not simply a matter of it only being gay people that are being discriminated against. For example, a catholic priest can refuse to marry a heterosexual couple in his own congregation if he has a reason to do so.

          3. Eh? Adoption agencies are also allowed to refuse to give a child to a couple if they have a reason to do so. They’re not exclusively discriminating against gay people either.

          4. Eh? Adoption agencies are also allowed to refuse to give a child to a couple if they have a reason to do so. They aren’t exclusively discriminating against gay people either.

          5. I see what you’re saying, but St. Margaret’s specifically used a loophole to make sure they didn’t have to provide service to gay people, the only group of people in society they have blanket ban on.
            I know I appear to be inconsistent on this and I’ll try to explain. When the other adoption agencies simply complied with the equality law, they in effect ceased to be Catholic adoption agencies. St. Andrew’s in Edinburgh, for example, severed all ties with the Church. So forcing the issue took the church out of the equation.
            I’d love it if we could say the same thing about mariage – that churches can’t refuse, but that is never going to happen at the moment. If we insisted on it, then we wouldn’t get marriage equality.

            But since every other adoption agency in the UK complied with the eqaulity laws without any fuss (St. Margaret’s and Catholic Care apart) then it wouldn’t be such a big deal to force the issue with St. Margaret’s.
            My main point still remains – Why did the SNP help them?

        5. Actually your wrong on all counts.

          The RC Church will be allowed to ‘discriminate’ on the grounds of equality in marriage.

          They can equally discriminate on the grounds of adoption.

          They are not actually breaking any law by doing so. Nor has the Scottish Government ever legislated under Adoption Laws (which I did mention as devolved which you inaccurately stated I didn’t) to prevent same sex couples from adopting. Why? Because they can’t under UK equality legislation.

          St Margaret’s changed their rules and do not therefore break adoption law or equality law! They don’t break the law!

          So you are actually advocating that the RC church should be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of marriage but not adoption. So much for your equality values.

          1. I said the Scottish Parliament voted to update adoption and fostering laws in general. Roseanna Cunningham tried to stop gay people from being allowed to adopt at this time but her ammendment was voted down. If this isn’t under the power of the Scottish Parliament, why did she table her ammendment?

            I never claimed St. Margaret’s are breaking the law, I said the SNP helped them to avoid complying with the Goods and Services legislation. Why did they do so? If they are 100% committed to gay equality why help the catholic church avoid complying with equality legislation.

            As for same-sex marriage, the idea that the catholic church, could be forced into it is misleading and is a tool used by opponents to gay marriage. The catholic church is not required by law to carry out a marriage between 2 mixed-sex catholics if the priest has a good enough reason. So why would they ever be required to marry gay people? The idea is a red herring.

            I personally don’t think the Catholic church should be allowed to discriminate against anyone at all, under any circumstances, but adoption and marriage are two very different things. Why you seem to think that the catholic church should have carte blanche to discrimnate against gay people is beyond me and pretty disgusting. As a gay person (as I assume you are) you must have very low self-esteem.

          2. The Scottish Parliament CAN legislate re adoption as I have said twice already! Have they specifically done so to prevent same sex couples from adopting? No, why? Because as I have already stated, that would be in breach of UK equality law!

            Catholic adoption agencies CAN already discriminate. Not on the grounds of sexual orientation, admittedly, but they just change their rules, e.g. married couples only! That did not take the expertise intervention of anyone to figure that out in fact they had already done so before any intervention of the Scots Government which actually related to a ‘get out clause’ and had nothing to do with the way they eventually got round the equality legislation. So it makes no difference re the outcome, and all you are doing is misinterpreting the facts. Actually, the arguments you pursue over adoption does relate to marriage. By your very own arguments, the Catholic Adoption agencies can refuse couples from adopting, just like marriage!

          3. @ WTF – you have lost the argument on this one mate. Just accept it. Trying to equate BennieM’s argument regarding the adoption agency with gay marriage is a very poor analogy. You are simply trying to muddy the waters from a very embarrassing example of the SNP putting the Catholic Church above gay people. Why don’t you just come out of the closet and declare your interest/support of the SNP? Stop being a slave to a political party. You will be much stronger for it if you open your mind to the fact that the party you support/belong to has homophobic elements. Tackle that from within if you like but don’t go defending them when they can’t be defended. BennieM’s persistence on this subject reminds me of The Guardian pursuing the voicemail hacking scandal when no-one was interested. Look how that turned out.

          4. So the SNP can support same sex marriage and an opt out for the RC Church and that’s ok but not in relation to adoption because that means they are defending the RC church over gay people? since this seems to be the premise of the argument, SNP supporting RC adoption opt-out, I fail to see why that is not the same as arguing for an opt out re same sex marriage.
            Gerry, just because I disagree with BennieM over the adoption issue being homophobic, doesn’t make me a member, supporter, donor, lap-dog of any political party least of all the SNP. Making stuff up to prove something just goes to demonstrate that, other than slag people off, you don’t actually have a point to make at all.

          5. Tim Hopkins 19 Oct 2011, 6:44am

            The legal point you’re missing, WTF, is that some of the adoption services St Margaret’s provides are in fact local authority services that are subcontracted to St Margaret’s. It is those services where it is unlawful to discriminate.

            The Equality Act says that religious organisations CAN discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, except where they are providing public services under contract to, and paid for by, a public body.

            Marriages are not provided under contract to public bodies, therefore religious bodies can lawfully discriminate against same sex marriages if they choose.

            Any adoption services that St Margaret’s supplies that are paid for by donations, or by the Church, for example, can discriminate. But any services it provides as a subcontractor to local authorities, and paid for by them, cannot.

            I would disagree with BennieM when he writes that St Margaret’s are not breaking the law. The Scottish Govt certainly had no power to exempt St Margaret’s from reserved equality law, and in my view wrongly advised them that if they changed their charitable objects they would be exempt from equality law.

          6. @ Tim

            Thanks for your input on this subject – you usually know what you’re talking about! I also know we’ve spoken about St. Margaret’s before on these threads!

            The reason I continue to claim it’s legal is because that’s what I’m told time and time again by the Scottish Government. As I say, my most recent correspondence was only about 2 months ago, from Angela Constance, the Minister for Children. She said exactly what you have in your 4th paragraph.

            I also know that the Scot Gov didn’t have the power to exempt them – that’s why they first asked the UK Gov and were refused. They then simply advised St. Margaret’s, as you say. My point about this is why did the SNP do so if they are supposed to be serious about gay equality? Why get involved in a matter of reserved law to stop it from having it’s full effect? They put the right of the church to discriminate above gay equality. My worry is they’ll do so again, especially with Bishop Tartaglia and co. getting all bolshie just now

          7. @ Tim

            Can I ask you something? You describe in your 4th paragraph how St. Margaret’s can discriminate when they provide adoption services and how they can’t discriminate when they’re providing adoption services for a local authority. This is what I was told by the Scot Gov.

            But you then go on to say that you disagree that St. Margaret’s are not breaking the law. If they can discriminate in the circumstances you describe, then surely they aren’t breaking the law?

            I’m not having a go at you, I honestly would like your thoughts on this. This issue of St. Margaret’s really gets to me, as you have probably worked out by now!

          8. @ WTF

            In your reply to Gerry, you say:

            “Making stuff up to prove something just goes to demonstrate that, other than slag people off, you don’t actually have a point to make at all.”

            Isn’t that exactly what you do? And as for his accusation you are in some way involved with the SNP, you only ever seem to post comments going to great lengths to defend them at the least wee bit of criticism anyone gives the SNP. I don’t ever notice you posting on negative stories about the SNP (Bill Walker, for example). So Gerry can be forgiven for coming to that that conclusion, whether he’s right or not.

            I used to support and vote SNP. I stopped when they took Souter’s half a milion quid in 2007, never mind all the other stuff. That was more than enough for me, as a gay man, to stop voting for them. I’d quite happily do so in future if they’d only sort out their inconsistency on LGBT equality. And get rid of the homophobes, too, of course!

  23. I think this was a wonderful speech by Alex Salmond. I agree with a lot of the commentators here who say he looks entirely genuine. It really does give the impression that Scotland will be a great place for LGBTI people to live. Scotland really has come a long, long way in such a short space of time. Definitely changed a lot since the days I had beer cans and bricks thrown at me as I queued to get into Bennets!! I think this is definitely something to be celebrated. Now, lets hope he puts his words into action and does bring in marriage equality! Let the religious bigotry of Scotland be something of the past! I would be very proud of a Scotland that truly embraced equality and left behind the evil shadow of religious hatred, discrimination and bigotry. So, I take my hat off to Alex. He rteally does seem like a true believer in LGBTI equality. (Lets just keep quiet about St Margarets adoption agency).

    1. Right on, Gerry.

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