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SNP’s LGBT group pushes minister to include LGBT people in Commonwealth charter

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  1. Maybe a good moment for a petition that the LGBT community can sign on behalf of those in other less tolerant commonwealth countries .

  2. I thought Scotland wasn’t a member of the Commonwealth (other than as part of the UK) I’m pretty sure Wales isn’t.

    What are the SNP’s thoughts on joining the Commonwealth if/when they become independent? As an organisation I think its well past its sell by date.

  3. I wish Ouf for Independence would also put pressure on the Scottish government to stop supporting St. Margaret’s adoption agency, and that they’d put pressure on the SNP to stop accepting money from Souter and kick the homophobic Roseanna Cunningham out of government and the party. The SNP/Scottish government could actually do something about these things while they won’t be able to make the slightest difference to the Commonwealth charter.

    1. Great point, Bennie. The SNP’s Out for Independence group could influence the party to clean out the dirt from its own backyard. They might have a chance of being able to do that, but they have no hope of getting the Queen to alter the Commonwealth Charter!

      1. You know, I e-mailed Out for Independence about these things and more 3 years ago or so, and I just got extremely unsatisfactory answers. On Roseanna Cunningham, for example, I was told they didn’t do anything about it because of the headlines it would create. And they didn’t say anything about Souter because it would be foolish to turn away his money on a point of principle. I was also told they’d deal with St. Margaret’s but clearly they never did a thing about it. I would just like them to speak out on the admittedly few, but serious cases of homophobia within the SNP itself.

        1. Think a lot of the problems within the party would be solved if Alex Salmond stood down and passed the torch along to his more progressive deep thinker deputy. Cant see that happening until 2016 at least though :(

          1. I often think that although Nicola Sturgeon is comitted to gay equality, she stays far too quiet on the homophobia that goes on in the party – i.e. Souter, Cunningham and St. Margaret’s. If she was truly principled, she could refuse to serve in a government which turns a blind eye to discrimination and hatred against gay people, and actively supports it in St. Margaret’s case.

            Also, you can’t just keep quiet and wait until she’s leader. There’s no guarantee she will be leader, it’s possible the homophobic Cunningham could run again – and win . But Out for Independence refused to believe that could ever happen when I suggested it to them a few years ago.

            I used to support the SNP until they took Souter’s first donation of £500,000 in 2007. For me as a gay man, that was just too much for me to put up with, even if others are happy to tolerate it.

            I just wish gay members and supporters of the SNP would speak out about it and try to do something about it, but none of them ever do.

          2. Bennie, perhaps Salmond has very authoritarian power over the SNP and like UKIP, gay members have little or no influence. What do you think?

          3. I do know that SNP members, and especially MSPs, have a reputation up here for doing exactly what they’re told by the party and not speaking out – on any matter. This is clearly just an extension of that.

            Look, I’m not saying the SNP is rife with homophobia, but there are a few extremely serious matters (which I’ve outlined above) which cannot be ignored by any self-respecting gay person, or indeed anyone who believes in gay equality.

            If the reason nobody in the SNP speaks out about it is because they are too scared, then perhaps they should consider their support for such a party.

            It only took Souter’s donations to make me stop supporting them and trying to do something about it by writing to MSPs, MEPs and party officials (and getting absolutely nowhere).

            What is it going to take for other gay people to do something about it – a homophobe like Cunningham becoming the next leader? Would they still remain quiet then? Get her kicked out now before that happens!

          4. And Stewart McDonald, the convenor of Out for Independence, wrote an article for another gay news website (not Pink News) last December – which was simply a cheerleading piece for the SNP, extremely biased and somewhat innaccurate. I left a comment pointing this out and my comment appeared at first but a few weeks later I noticed it had been removed. I asked the website why but they never replied. So it seems the SNP and Out for Independence don’t tolerate criticism if they go to the bother of having a reader’s comment removed.

    2. Out For Independence was only formed in 2013 so confused who you wrote to 3 years ago

      1. There was a group called Out for Independence. Aileen Campbell MSP put me in touch with them. I was given the e-mail address of a Glasgow Councillour, Grant Thoms who gave me the name of the convenor Gregor something. I’ll need to dig out the e-mails. They were using the name Out for Independence then – about 3 years ago, give or take a year.

        1. Here’s a link to a webpage from 2010. About halfway down, in a list of names, is Gregor Murray, Acting Convenor of Out for Independence. So it was an existing group before 2013. He’s a Dundee Councillor.

          http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/GayasylumUK/message/59

          1. So if the current Out for Independence group was only was only set up in 2013, what was the previous one? It was described as the SNP’s LGBT group by an MSP and Councillor, and by the group itself. This was at least as long ago as 2010.

          2. And read the second post on this former SNP MSPs blogsite, dated Saturday 17 OCtober 2009, which also refers to the SNP group Out for Independence. It seems that Out for Independence did exist as a group before 2013.

            http://indygalgoestoholyrood.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Alyn%20Smith%3B%20Bill%20Kidd%3B%20Gregor%20Murray%3B%20Nat%20Factor%3B%20UKBA

          3. I e-mailed my constituency SNP MSP today to ask about this and I’ve had a reply.

            Apparently the Out for Independence group in this article, which was launched in February 2013, is a combination of the existing group of the same name and the LGBT section of the Yes Scotland campaign.

            So it is the same group who I spoke to about 3 years ago, and therefore my criticism of it is fair. It makes no difference that it has a new convener now – unless that convener addresses the problems I raised above.

  4. ChrisMorley 13 Mar 2013, 8:39pm

    This so sweet of them to ask a Scottish Assembly member to fix this for them, but a pointless gesture.

    The Charter was voted on by all 59 nations of the Commonwealth.
    In 41 of those countries gay sex is still a crime. Scotland is not a voting member of the Commonwealth, the UK has the vote.
    The Charter needed every countries’ agreement, so LGBT rights won’t be added for a very long time.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/peter-g-tatchell/queen-supports-gay-rights-commonwealth_b_2850145.html

    1. Whilst we should continue to condemn homophobic nations in the Commonwealth and argue for asylum rights for LGBT people fleeing those nations, we’ll probably have to accept that the Commonwealth is itself a homophobic institution. Scotland, if it has sense, will leave the Commonwealth.

      1. Any democratic, civilised nation currently in the Commonwealth should leave it. The Commonwealth IS a homophobic institution and will continue being so – all the British nations, Canada, Australia and New Zealand etc. should pull out if the homophobic third-world members have so much influence. The Queen should be ashamed to be head of such an institution and if she isn’t, then we should be ashamed of her being our monarch. If the Commonwealth cannot accept LGBT rights, then we shouldn’t accept it.

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