The paper sets out seven ways in which independence will help secure equality for LGBT Scottish people, including “enshrining LGBT equality in a written constitution, securing the power to protect and improve equality law, securing the power to protect spending on LGBT equality measures in public services.”
As well as the creating a “compassionate asylum system that offers protection to those facing persecution, and full control over foreign policy and international development enabling Scotland to actively promote LGBT rights around the world as part of a progressive Scottish foreign policy agenda.”
Kirsty MacAlpine, Co-convenor of Yes LGBT, said: “Independence offers Scotland a unique opportunity to secure the powers and resources we need to ensure full equality for LGBT people here, and to play our role in promoting human rights around the world.
“Over the past 15 years of the Scottish Parliament, Scotland has consistently taken a more progressive approach to LGBT equality than Westminster, with world-leading laws and leadership in the areas where we have control. With the Tory-led UK Government now planning to repeal the Human Rights Act and cut Scotland’s block grant it is only with independence that we can protect and continue progress towards the fair and equal Scotland we all want to see.”
Patrick Harvie MSP, the openly bisexual Co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, said: “Holyrood is a Parliament which has never once voted against any aspect of LGBT equality, and that’s not something that can be said of Westminster. There are many opportunities which independence offers, from a humane asylum system to constitutional protection for all citizens” equality. We have nothing to fear from independence, and much to gain.
“Scotland has changed. Once a country which held out for years against decriminalisation of male same-sex relationships, we are now a country which gave equal marriage the third biggest majority of any country in the world. We should be proud of that progress, and unafraid of taking responsibility for all the decisions about our country’s future.”
Welcoming the paper, Yes Scotland’s Interest Groups Adviser Toni Giugliano said: “This document yet again shows that Yes is the only side with a plan, offering real, positive change for Scotland.”
“Over the past two years Yes LGBT has gained overwhelming support and endorsements including Pride Glasgow’s Chief Executive Alastair Smith and veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.”
“For decades gay people have fought for change and have witnessed change happen – that’s why so many are backing Yes – they’re confident that a better Scotland is possible.”
Alan Cumming, Hollywood actor and LGBT activist, said: “I’m proud that an independent Scotland will give its LGBT citizens the rights and respect they deserve, and enshrine those rights in the Constitution. Another example of the positive future we all have by voting Yes”.
The full text of the Rainbow Paper by Joseph Patrick McCormick is available to read here