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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale gets engaged to same-sex partner

Nick Duffy August 8, 2016

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has announced her engagement – just months after coming out.

The Labour politician became the fourth Scottish party leader to come out in April, when she said: “I have a female partner. I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t feel I need to.”

In May, she appeared in public with her partner Louise Riddell for the first time – as she cast her vote in the Scottish elections, where Labour slumped to an unprecedented third-place defeat.

Today, Ms Dugdale revealed that she and Ms Riddell are now engaged, after popping the question on a holiday to Puerto Soller, Mallorca.

She told the Daily Record: “I’m utterly thrilled to be marrying the love of my life and we can’t wait to start planning.

“We hope this news brings a smile to a few peoples faces and we’ll certainly be toasting all those campaigners and activists who made marriage equality possible.”

Ms Dugdale tweeted: “So, [Louise] and I got engaged and we couldn’t be happier!”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson got engaged to her own partner just two months ago. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Scotland since 2014.

The country has the highest proportion of LGB leaders anywhere in the world, as in addition to Ms Dugdale and Ms Davidson, Scottish leader Patrick Harvie is bisexual and Scottish UKIP leader David Coburn is gay.

Ms Dugdale told PinkNews previously: “The most important thing to me is that I use the voice and the power that I have to make a difference for young LGBT people and that’s why I look back at what I’ve done over the past five years with a great deal of pride.

“I mean it goes back even longer than five years. I signed the campaign for equal marriage back in 2005, when it was first being established. When I got elected to the Scottish Parliament, I always championed LGBT rights, I co-convened the cross party groups on sexual health and blood borne viruses, I co-convened the children and young people group and we did joint meetings on mental health to discuss attitudes to young LGBT people.

“I’ve campaigned on sexual health services in Edinburgh and the Lothians. There has been all sorts of campaigns over the years and that to me is the best way I can be a role model. To constantly drive change in progress.

“It’s much like the argument around gender equality. It’s not enough for Scotland to just have a female First Minister or to have a gay leader of the opposition. That is not enough progress for me. You have to use that power, that potential, that voice to drive a change and that’s how I would measure my own success.”

More: engaged, Gay, Kezia Dugdale, Labour, LGBT, marriage, married, Politics, Scotland, sexuality

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