CEO of Pride Glasgow backs Scottish independence

July 24, 2014
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The Chief Executive of Pride Glasgow has announced his support for the independence campaign in Scotland.

Alastair Smith said a “Yes” vote on 18 September would give Scotland a chance to enshrine LGBT rights in a written constitution.

“Decisions affecting Scotland’s future should be taken here locally, and I believe that Scots are best places to take care of their own problems,” Mr Smith said.

“We’ve seen with the success of the Scottish Parliament that we can create our own solutions to those problems.”

He added: “The prospect of a written constitution for an independent Scotland that enshrines the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will be very appealing for Scotland’s LGBT communities. Nothing like that is being offered by the No side.”

The Chief Executive of the Yes Scotland campaign, Blair Jenkins, welcomed Mr Smith’s comments, saying: “We’re delighted to have Alastair on board. After Peter Tatchell’s welcome endorsement at the weekend, he’s another significant LGBT voice saying that a Yes vote can make Scotland a fairer country.”

Kirsty McAlpine, from Yes LGBT, stated that an independent Scotland could offer greater protections for those fleeing homophobic persecution.

Currently, Scottish immigration and asylum issues remain under the control of the Home Office at Westminster.

The Home Office has frequently been accused of deporting LGBT asylum seekers back to countries where they face persecution.

Ms McAlpine said: “With the full powers of independence, Scotland can be a beacon of equality across the world.

“It’s great to have Alistair’s support in campaigning for a Scotland with the powers needed to shelter persecuted LGBT people when they need asylum. The UK and its asylum policy continues to let our community down.”

The independence question was debated last weekend at Pride Glasgow.

LGBT Together, part of the pro-Union Better Together campaign, said the Union had already helped ensure Scotland was one of the most progressive countries in Europe when it came to LGBT rights.

The Herald reports LGBT Together activist Darren Young said: “The UK’s LGBT rights record is something that people right across these isles can be proud of.

“The UK has now been voted the best place to be LGBT in Europe three years running.”

He added: “Where is the sense in breaking up something that works well?”

Related topics: Gay rights, LGBT rights, Pride Glasgow, Scotland, Scotland, Scottish independence

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