Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The "rainbow paper" is bias and misleading

The Rainbow Paper by YES LGBTI Scotland
The Pro-independence group YES LGBTI issued a rainbow paper, which is a manifesto for Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality in an Independent Scotland.  

The rainbow paper is supported by Partick Harvie MSP, a leading campaigner for LGBT equality and human rights.  

The manifesto heavily criticises the UK and Westminster approach to LGBTI Equality and Human Rights and claims that Equality will only be guaranteed through a written Scottish constitutional commitment to LGBT people.

The group also claims that Westminster is holding back and threatens to reverse hard won LGBT equality rights.  

The content of the paper can be read here, in its PDF form.http://www.yesscotland.net/sites/default/files/resources/documents/the_rainbow_paper.pdf 

Daniel Donaldson, an Edinburgh based Equalities Lawyer, responded to some of the claims made by the groupthis evening.  Daniel who also recently experienced horrific Hate Crime, where he was branded a "Peedo" and a "Beast" said:

“The ‘Rainbow Paper’ issued by YES Scotland is misleading people.

“It is important to show a balance here and to not mislead LGBTI people into thinking that the UK is all bad and that an Independent Scotland will be all good, when it comes to protecting and protecting LGBTI human rights.

“It is also disingenuous to say that Scotland has consistency been more progressive than Westminster in terms of LGBTI equality.

“One fatal flaw in the YES LGBTI argument is that YES Scotland want to abolish the UK Supreme Court. Why would anyone want to abolish a Court which has affirmed and defended LGBTI rights, first in terms of LGBTI asylum and refugee status, and then again in terms upholding the non-discrimination provisions of the Equality Act when faced with several challenges by powerful lobby groups.

“This position contrasts with Scotland, where the Scottish Government, under the SNP leadership, sought to water down and exclude Roman Catholic adoption agencies from Equality Law to allow them to discriminate against same-sex couples. Contrast this with that of the UK, which refused to amend the Sexual Orientation Regulations, despite Scottish Government pressure to do so.

“It is also important to remember, that a written constitution, which specifically mentions LGBTI people is no guarantee that LGBTI rights will be protected. The South African constitution mentioned LGBT people, but when it came to considering same-sex marriage, the Government only changed the law after a Court Challenge.

“Without the UK Supreme Court, which currently protects the rights of LGBTI people, across the UK as a whole, a written Scottish Constitution would be meaningless as the Scottish Courts have adopted a critical and highly conservative interpretation of human rights law. Indeed, there was at least one LGBT Asylum case heard in Scotland which failed.

“The UK, having a wide network of Embassies and Consulates across the World has heavily lobbied for LGBT equality. The UK has the standing in the World to take many of the non-LGBTI friendly countries to task over their human rights record, and this has to be acknowledged.

“There is always room for improvement in any constitutional set-up, where equality and human rights are concerned. However, to completely ignore the accomplishments the UK in this field, and to paint everything in such a negative light, it just plain wrong.

“LGBTI people expect more from both sides of the Scottish Independence debate and I would encourage the YES Scotland campaign not to mislead people and be more honest about the advances made in terms of LGBTI equality and human rights in scotland as part of the UK.”