Current Affairs

Scotland may get first LGB minister

PinkNews Staff Writer May 8, 2007
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Scotland might get first LGB minister

Negotiations between the Scottish National Party and the Green party may result in a bisexual MSP becoming a member of the Scottish Executive.

Patrick Harvie was re-elected to represent Glasgow as a Green in last week’s elections for the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP beat Labour to first place in the elections, but with 47 seats do not have an outright majority in the 129-member parliament.

A possible coalition between the Lib Dems, who have 16 seats, and the SNP foundered over the issue of a referendum on independence.

The Nationalists may have to run a minority government.

Talks with the Greens, who have two MSPs, were described by both sides as constructive.

“There is still a bit of talking to be done. There aren’t any sticking points, we’re just looking at the range of ways the parties can co-operate in Scotland’s interests,” SNP leader Alex Salmond told the BBC.

Should the minority coalition government go ahead, openly bisexual MSP Patrick Harvie is almost certain to be given a ministerial job.

However, it is thought the Greens may decide to back the SNP government’s budget and the appointment of Mr Salmond as First Minister, and then decide to support other policies on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Harvie faced challenges from fundamentalist Christians during his re-election campaign.

After the vote he told about some of the slurs and abuse levelled at him during the election:

“I am very pleased that we held onto the seat despite a vicious homophobic campaign, including allegations that I have been distributing pornography to children.

“I will not be letting these allegations lie.”

He thanked the many people who had written to express their disgust at the tactics of his opponents.

“I have had a lot of emails from supportive people in the LGBT community and others who were outraged at the homophobic material they got through the letterbox. It has been vicious.”

Two other out politicians were re-elected to the Scottish Parliament last week.

Iain Smith held on to Fife North East for the Liberal Democrats with a 15.9% majority.

Lesbian MSP Margaret Smith retained Edinburgh West, also for the Lib Dems, with a majority of 16.9%.

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