Scottish Secretary meets with Texas LGBT business leaders during US visit
The Secretary of State for Scotland has met with LGBT business leaders in the state of Texas, on a trip to the US.
Cabinet minister David Mundell, who came out as gay himself earlier this year, visited the US this week to push for the interests of key Scottish industries.
Mr Mundell had visited Texas during the trip to discuss Scotland’s oil and gas industry – but while in the state, met with members of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Texas is one of many Southern US states to have seen a backlash against LGBT rights in recent months.
The state’s Republican leadership is currently suing Barack Obama over transgender rights, while the Texas GOP passed a platform plank last month describing homosexuality as a “chosen behaviour that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths”.
The Scottish Secretary held a gin tasting event for the LGBT business owners, to promote the Scottish gin industry while discussing how best to support LGBT businesses.
He told PinkNews: “It was a real pleasure to meet the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
“Their members run a fantastic array of innovative US businesses, and I really applaud their efforts to create opportunities and build community support for LGBT businesses.
“I was very pleased to be able to introduce them to a range of Scottish gins – one of our key exports to the US.”
Mr Mundell, a Conservative, recently pledged to work alongside Scotland’s SNP government on transgender and LGB equality issues to make sure reforms cover the whole of the UK.
He said: “Promoting equal treatment and opportunity for all in society is at the core of what our Governments do. LGB&T equality matters to me personally and it’s an area in which the UK Government has been active.
“I pledge to work closely with the First Minister and her Government, with UK Government colleagues and with the Trans community in Scotland, to ensure that as progress is made in this important area, we can do so in a way which maximises the benefit felt, right across Britain.”