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Alex Salmond to quit as First Minister following referendum result

Joseph McCormick September 19, 2014

The First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, has announced that he will quit, following last night’s independence referendum.

While he was First Minister, Mr Salmond was a strong advocate of same-sex marriage.

Writing for PinkNews in February, he explained why the passage of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Scotland was “one of the proudest days in the history of Scotland.”

Mr Salmond, also the leader of the campaign for Scottish independence, today said he would not stand for re-election as SNP party leader at the party conference in Perth on 13 -15 November.

He said: “The country will benefit from new leadership.”

The Equality Network, Scotland’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality charity, has responded to the news of Mr Salmond’s resignation as First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: “While the Equality Network is neutral on party politics, we want to say a huge heartfelt thank you to Alex Salmond for significantly advancing LGBTI rights in Scotland during his time as First Minister. Scotland is now a leader on LGBTI equality, and while more needs to be done, Alex Salmond should be incredibly proud of leading a government that has spoken out for LGBTI human rights, put in place some of the best hate crime legislation in Europe, and delivered one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world.”

After all 32 Scottish councils had declared, 2,001,926 (55.3%) voted No and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voted Yes, with an overall turnout of 84.51% (3,619,915).

Over the past weeks, the Yes and Better Together campaigns have both highlighted how LGBT equality could change in Scotland as a result of the verdict.

SNP First Minister Alex Salmond warned Scotland’s gains on LGBT rights would be at risk under a future Tory government without independence.

Mr Salmond was among six of Scotland’s main political leaders to last week answer a referendum questionnaire by the Equality Network.

The SNP leader said independence was a “once in a lifetime opportunity to embed and enhance LGBTI rights”.

He said a Yes victory meant enshrining LGBT rights in a written constitution.

But Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, of Better Together, said the process for a written constitution was “unclear”.

Last week he defended the SNP acceptance of major donations from an anti-gay marriage businessman, saying he thinks he is an “outstanding entrepreneur”.

More: Alex Salmond, independence, referendum, Scotland, Scotland, SNP

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