Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to “champion” LGBT+ equality and issues surrounding LGBT+ life in the run up to the General Election later in June.
The party, who have released a whole manifesto dedicated to LGBT rights and issues, boast a “proud record” of championing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in government.
“We have delivered Scotland’s progressive equal marriage and hate crime laws, we have given record funding to LGBTI equality organisations, and we have driven forward equality in our public services – but we know that there is still more to do,’ the manifesto declares.
As part of their election campaign, the SNP have set twelve priorities for LGBT+ equality, with discrimination protections and equality laws being forefront in their work. By pushing for the full devolution of equality law, the SNP aim to protect and extend LGBT rights in Scotland. Not only that, but the part aim to ensure equal pension rights for same-sex couples by changing the law to prevent pension companies discriminating based on sexuality.
The SNP have also been loud and proud about the support of HIV preventative drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to ensure the drug can be and is made available, despite the NHS dragging their heals and tabloid newspapers pitting the drug as a reckless lifestyle drug. The party are one of the only parties to acknowledge the rights and dignities of intersex people and promise to improve effective protections.
Sturgeon commented that “The SNP is committed to securing full equality for LGBTI people, and we have a proud record of championing LGBTI equality in government and at Westminster.”
“Equality and human rights are fundamental to our values and aims as a progressive social democratic party,” she explained, “and under the SNP Scottish Government Scotland has become one of the best countries in the world for LGBTI equality.”
Beyond Scotland, Sturgeon has pledged in the manifesto that a reformation of the asylum system is imperative to ensure that people forced to flee their home countries due to their sexualities are not held in arbitrary detention. A recent campaign revealed the horrific way LGBT asylum seekers were treated on British soil.
“We have delivered Scotland’s progressive equal marriage and hate crime laws, we have given record funding to LGBTI equality organisations, and we have driven forward equality in our public services – but we know that there is still more to do.
“A vote for the SNP on June 8th is a vote for a strong, united and effective team of SNP MPs that will champion LGBTI equality at Westminster, and work hard to make Scotland the best country we can be,” Sturgeon declared.
The full manifesto can be read here.