Women's rights activists are like ANTI-SEMITES, says Scottish minister
Women’s rights activists are like ANTI-SEMITES, says Scottish minister: Fury over Lorna Slater’s ‘grossly offensive’ comparison between feminists fighting trans rights laws to racists
- Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s government in Green-SNP deal
- Ms Slater, 46, spoke out after feminists criticised new sex change legislation
- She asked why the BBC was allowing voices against the law to be heard
- Slater said: ‘We wouldn’t put balance on the question of racism or anti-Semitism’
- But women campaigners said some may feel her remarks were extremist bigotry’
One of Nicola Sturgeon’s coalition ministers has been branded ‘grossly offensive’ after comparing feminists worried about new transgender laws to racists or anti-Semites.
Lorna Slater, 46, who was given a ministerial post under Ms Sturgeon’s SNP’s deal with the environmental political group, made the remarks in a blast at the BBC.
She railed against the corporation over its inclusion of voices who oppose new legislation in Scotland which allow anyone over 16 change their legal sex by self-identification only.
Speaking in The Herald on Sunday, Ms Slater declared: ‘The BBC only recently stopped putting on climate deniers because they required balance.
‘We wouldn’t put balance on the question of racism or anti-Semitism, but we allow this fictional notion of balance when it comes to anti-trans. The whole thing is disgusting.
‘The Scottish Government is in the right place, absolutely. It’s openly supportive of trans rights.’
Lorna Slater, 46, spoke out after feminists criticised new sex change legislation in Scotland
Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s government in Green-SNP coalition government
Ms Slater added the Greens were standing some trans candidates for local election and she was ‘genuinely afraid for their safety’.
She added she believed people who were against the new law had been secretly funded by American right-wing groups.
But Susan Smith, director of campaign group For Women Scotland, told the Telegraph Ms Slater’s remarks were ‘deliberately inflammatory’ and were tantamount to calling for the ‘censorship and suppression of political opponents’.
Ms Smith added: ‘It is ironic she likens women’s rights activists to anti-Semites, racists and climate-change deniers, when some might think her intemperate, incendiary, fact-free rant bears all the hall marks of extremist bigotry as well as a denial of the fundamentals of biological science.
She made the remarks in a blast at the BBC over the corporations inclusion of critics of the law
‘Such bullying hectoring should concern any parliamentarian who wants an open, thorough examination of legislation.’
Legislation published by the SNP-Green coalition government makes it easier for all over 16s from Scotland change their legal sex.
The new rules allow self-identification, which negates the need for a medical diagnosis or doctor.
But there has been severe criticism of the new regulations.
Feminists say the good-intention law could be exploited by male predators to get access to female only areas.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘The aim of this government is to ensure that trans people in Scotland enjoy equality and feel safe and accepted for who they are.
‘We appreciate the range of strongly held views on the Gender Recognition Act and have always been keen to seek consensus where possible and to work to support respectful debate.
‘We are committed to making changes… to improve and simplify the process for a trans person to gain legal recognition.’
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