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Scottish politician Joan McAlpine uninvited from climate-crisis event over backwards views on trans rights

Vic Parsons January 28, 2021
Joan McAlpine: SNP MSP uninvited from student event over trans views

Joan McAlpine previously invited notoriously anti-trans academics to speak at the Scottish parliament on Trans Day of remembrance. (Ken Jack/Getty Images)

Scottish nationalist politician Joan McAlpine has been uninvited from a student event on the climate crisis due to “her views on transgender rights”.

Youth-led campaign group Teach the Future, which is demanding reform of the education system to focus on the climate emergency, had invited McAlpine to be on the panel of an online 5 February event for students in South Scotland.

The panel, an opportunity for young people worried about the climate crisis to “constructively engage with elected representatives on this most important issue”, was due to feature representatives from all major Scottish parties: Laurie Moodie MSP candidate (Scottish Greens), Finlay Carson MSP candidate (Conservative), Claudia Beamish MSP candidate (Labour), and McAlpine, who is in the Scottish National Party (SNP).

But after a “vetting and communication error” by Teach the Future and event partner Sustainability Partnerships came to light, McAlpine was uninvited.

We are revoking Joan McAlpine’s invitation to speak at our event on 5 February because we do not believe her views on transgender rights align with our views on equality,” Teach the Future tweeted on 27 January. “This invitation was made due to a vetting and communication error by us and our partner (Sustainability Partnerships).”

Teach the Future added: “We do not endorse McAlpine’s views, and therefore do not want to platform her on any other issue.”

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon posted a video to social media on Wednesday evening (27 January) that strongly condemned transphobia. Sturgeon’s “message from the heart” insisted it is “vital to speak up for what is right and against injustice”.

Sturgeon’s video came amid accusations that the SNP has become a “hub of transphobia”.

Joan McAlpine and trans-related issues

McAlpine, who has been the MSP for the South Scotland region since 2011, is well-known for promoting her anti-trans views and opposing reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

In November 2019, she was condemned by leading feminists organisations in Scotland for inviting notorious anti-trans academics to speak at the Scottish parliament on Trans Day of Remembrance (the event was postponed). McAlpine and Labour MSP Jenny Marra had invited Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, Maureen O’Hara and Dr Sheila Jeffreys to speak on behalf of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign – which has since urged MP’s to eliminate “transgenderism” and repeal the Gender Recognition Act.

In 2020, McAlpine was at the Scottish launch of anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance.

And this week, McAlpine praised Scottish justice minister Humza Yousaf for adding an amendment to Scotland’s new hate crime bill that exempts “criticism of matters relating to transgender identity”, following sustained pressure from anti-trans activists.

The amendment saw the Scottish government being accused of turning a hate crime bill into a “transphobes’ charter”.

Joan McAlpine has been contacted for comment.

More: joan mcalpine, Nicola Sturgeon, teach the future, Women's Human Rights Campaign

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