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EQUALITY NETWORK A Government of Rights? Human Rights for LGBT people in Scotland.

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Presentation on theme: "EQUALITY NETWORK A Government of Rights? Human Rights for LGBT people in Scotland."— Presentation transcript:

1 EQUALITY NETWORK A Government of Rights? Human Rights for LGBT people in Scotland

2 EQUALITY NETWORK The Post-Legislative Era "Sentimental persons prefer always the revolutionary time, with the king over the water and a free wind blowing. But I like better the time that is more crucial than revolution, that is the time when the revolution succeeds and must govern Stevie Smith The project that began with Dudgeon v UK, to use human rights instruments to promote legislative reform, although by no means complete or consistent, has had a revolutionary level of success. It is time to consider what is needed not to achieve rights, but to ensure those rights begin to govern our national politics, cultures and communities.

3 EQUALITY NETWORK The Scottish Rights Climate Scotland is supposed to have a government of rights; that is the promise of the Scotland Act. There is an ambiguity about the value of human rights within Scottish political and legal discourse and a real lack of a human rights infrastructure. No history of dynamic anti-racist work, so the intellectual space for equality and diversity was not created; particularly in local government

4 EQUALITY NETWORK LGBT Activism in Scotland Three national organisations with very close partnership working, and high levels of cross-strand working The politics of persuasion- Government is accessible, the Equality Unit is genuinely supportive Considerable attention on trans inclusion, trans discourse more socio-political and activism more though alliances and umbrellas Historically less of an engagement with feminist perspectives, but Domestic Abuse project is introducing, along with trans post, much more of a focus on gender ideology

5 EQUALITY NETWORK Bringing it Back Home In the aftermath of the Section 28 controversy, LGBT rights came to be seen as a poisoned chalice, and political leadership on the issue effectively ended. This allowed for an idea of LGBT equality as an import and an imposition, and enabled opponents of equality to present themselves as speaking on behalf of the real Scotland. I do not believe that people must believe in God to be persuaded by hundreds of thousands of years of human biology. We are what we are. Roseanna Cunningham MSP

6 EQUALITY NETWORK Problems for the Future An escalating narrative of competition between rights- LGBT equality vs. freedom of religion and/or expression. We both need to challenge these interpretations of Articles 9 and 10, but also reframe the debate to be about standards in public life/services If the expansion of equality and rights occurs at the same time as scarcity in essential service than the potential for backlash can build. We need to understand the fears and pressures that enabled Scottish Christian Party to build its base through a purely anti-gay agenda.

7 EQUALITY NETWORK Border Crossings All of the countries are leading on some areas. This can be used as leverage and learning to level up provision. Greater dialogue on strategies and approaches. Cross border monitoring and qualitative research- to what extent has the rights agenda delivered in practice. Developing our underlying theoretical and ethical base.

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