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Scotland votes no to independence

PinkNews.co.uk Staff Writer September 19, 2014

The people of Scotland have voted no to independence from the United Kingdom.

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).

Despite the overall result, Glasgow – Scotland’s largest city – voted in favour of independence by a margin of 53.49% to 46.51%.

Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged the victory of the Better Together campaign, saying in a statement: “I’ve spoken to Alistair Darling – and congratulated him on an well-fought campaign.”

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Clearly I’m deeply disappointed, like thousands across the country. I put my heart and soul into this campaign, and there’s a real sense of disappointment that we’ve fallen narrowly short of securing a Yes vote.”

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”.

Mr Salmond had claimed that Conservative plans to possibly withdraw from the European Court and Convention of Human Rights would put protections for Scottish LGBT citizens at risk.

Ms Lamont said the same would be true of independence. She also said a Yes victory would damage Scotland’s intentional standing.

Alex Salmond and Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, declared it would be enhanced.

Both pointed to the issue of LGBT asylum, suggesting Scotland would do a better job than the UK Home Office of protecting the rights of LGBT asylum seekers.

Whilst admitting the Home Office still had problems, Johann Lamont said the issue of LGBT asylum would best be dealt with at a UK-wide level, without Scottish independence.

With both campaigns battling it out for every single vote, in what has widely been seen as a very tight race, Alex Salmond on Tuesday welcomed news of a PinkNews suggesting that 54% of the Scottish LGBT community intended to vote Yes in the ballot.

The First Minister told PinkNews it was an “opportunity to build a fairer country”.

On Thursday, PinkNews marked the vote by launching a new domain, PinkNews.scot, bringing together all Scottish content on the site.

More to follow.

More: Alex Salmond, first minister, First Minister Alex Salmond, independence, Scotland, Scotland

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