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Angus Robertson: I’m sorry for historic gay sex convictions

Bobby Rae October 27, 2016

The SNP deputy leader has made a personal apology for historic gay sex convictions.

Angus Robertson, leader of the party in Westminster, attended the PinkNews Awards last night (October 26) where, as well as giving a personal apology, he called for party leaders to say sorry for the way gay men were treated in the past.

Presenting the Adverting Campaign of the Year award, he said pardoning gay men for the way they lived their lives was not enough.

“I hope that across the parties, that we all agree that in the 21st century that we are even having to debate, not just pardoning, but apologising, apologising to people who were criminalised for how they lived is a disgrace,” he said.

“It should have happened a long time ago.

“In my own small way, I wasn’t around when it happened, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

“I think all political leaders should apologise for what happened in the past.”

The MP for Moray spoke to PinkNews before the awards where he said: “I do not understand what is difficult about apologising for the wrongs of the past.

“I think it would send a strong message.”

At the awards ceremony in London, Mr Robertson also praised the army, who picked up the Public Sector award, for how far they had come in recognising LGBT equality.

Addressing Major General Ben Bathurst, he said: “I think it is remarkable how far things have come and you should be tremendously proud of your colleague from the LGBT forum and all of your colleagues.

“I hope you understand how proud everyone in this room is of everything that you have achieved and everything you will achieve.”

In his earlier interview with PinkNews, Mr Robertson said the SNP would fight to protect against the removal of any human rights under the terms of an exit from the EU.

“We oppose the erosion of rights. Full stop,” he added.

“LGBTI rights, for us, are as important as all other rights.

“So I’m not going to describe a hierarchy of rights, because I don’t think they exist. I think we all have inherent human rights, whether we are in the LGBTI community or not.

“It matters for me, as a straight man, as much as I would hope it would matter for people who are part of the LGBTI community.

“The SNP commitment to human rights, right across the board, is absolute.”

More: Angus Robertson, historic gay sex convictions, PinkNews Awards, Scotland, scottish national party, SNP

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