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Ruth Davidson says she’s a proud ‘political party leader and pregnant lesbian’ at PinkNews summer reception in Edinburgh

Josh Jackman June 20, 2018

Ruth Davidson (Ashley Coombes)

Ruth Davidson has celebrated the progress which has allowed her to be both head of the Scottish Conservatives and a gay, expectant mother at the PinkNews summer reception in Edinburgh, supported by Virgin Money and DLA Piper.

Prompting applause from the audience, Davidson, speaking at the Scottish Parliament in the country’s capital on Wednesday (June 20), said: “In my lifetime, people could be prosecuted for being in a loving same-sex relationship… we’ve seen these same couples who could have been prosecuted now able to marry their partner.

“And if we look at societal change, it’s even greater than that – I’m standing here leader of political party, a pregnant lesbian, my office is full of bibs and babygros and baby products,” she added, to applause from the audience.

Ruth Davidson speaks (Ashley Coombes)

“I still get hate mail, everyone does,” she added, “but it’s vastly outweighed by the kindness and support that we see all around the country.”

A cross-party group of Scottish politicians gathered at the second of many regional receptions held by PinkNews to debate LGBT+ topics from education to same-sex marriage.

Politicians and campaigners from across the political spectrum came together to hear Davidson and other prominent politicians speak on current LGBT+ issues, celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s LGBT+ community and highlight what is still to be done.

Davidson announced in April that she and her fiancée Jennifer Wilson are expecting to welcome their first child in late autumn.

Ruth Davidson with Equalities Minister Angela Constance (Ashley Coombes)

The Scottish Conservatives leader proposed to Wilson in May 2016, but they were forced to postpone the wedding after their spaniel Wilson was struck by a car.

She stressed at the time that while her political position made her announcement notable, many women combine working and pregnancy each year.

(Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Davidson delivers a speech during the Conservative Party annual conference (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty)

“I’m simply doing what thousands of working women do every year: having a child, taking some time off and then returning to work soon after,” said Davidson.

The leader also told attendees of the PinkNews summer reception in Edinburgh that “the gains that we’ve seen in recent years and the speed at which they’ve happened has only been possible because of cumulative work down the generations,” warning that the next generations also needed to strive for equality.

In particular, she spoke about the importance of updating legislation for transgender Scots, saying: “We owe it to thousands of trans people across the UK to get it right.”

Davidson added that when it came to public discourse, “the level of debate around trans rights is lower than it should be, and it’s lower than people deserve.”

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 31: Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson reacts during first minister's questions in the Scottish Parliament on March 31, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson during first minister’s questions in the Scottish Parliament (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty)

The 39-year-old stood for the Conservatives in the Glasgow North East by-election in 2009 before becoming an MSP in 2011 and elected the leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2014.

Davidson was included in this year’s TIME 100, showing the way in which her rise to prominence has attracted a global fanbase.

On June 7, at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, championed inclusive sex and relationship education.

He told the audience: “Too often we just assume the LGBT community know politicians are on their side.”

“We’re going in the right direction but we are committed to going further. We want an education system based on equality.”

More: Conservative Party, Edinburgh, lesbian, PinkNews Summer Reception, Politics, ruth davidson, Scotland, Scotland, UK

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