The SNP is set to host the largest ever LGBTI conference organised by a political party anywhere in the UK.
The party’s LGBTI membership wing, ‘Out for Independence’, is hosting the one day event at Glasgow’s Caledonian University where the conference will be opened by First Minister and party leader, Nicola Sturgeon MSP. The party’s depute leader, Stewart Hosie MP, will also address the conference.
The conference will involve series of workshops, debates and speeches aimed at keeping LGBTI people engaged in politics following last year’s independence referendum, which saw unprecedented levels of voter participation.
The conference will be attended by 650 delegates from across Scotland and stallholders from different organisations.
It will also mark LGBT History month with a debate on how Scotland has changed for the LGBTI Community over the years.
Speaking ahead of the conference, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “One of the loveliest occasions I have attended since becoming First Minister was as a guest at one of Scotland’s first same-sex weddings.
“Rarely have I experienced such a profound sense of new beginnings as I did when I was at Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott’s marriage on Hogmanay in Glasgow. It is right and proper that couples should be able to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation, and have the same opportunity to experience the kind of happiness I did on my wedding day.
“I am committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal for all, and one which encourages democratic participation and engagement. So naturally I am delighted to hear that this event is set to be the largest ever political LGBTI Conference across the nations of the UK – and I have every confidence that it will be a great success.”
Stewart McDonald, conference organiser and convener of Out for Independence, said: “The referendum has had a huge impact on ordinary people’s involvement in Scottish politics. It has awakened our nation to the big issues facing us, and our community is very much a part of that change.
“The purpose of this conference is to discuss the issues that LGBTI people want to change and how we go about that. It’s with that in mind that we have put together a programme that encourages the widest possible debate on the kind of society we are and want to become. We will have discussions on issues such as transgender equality, LGBTI inclusion in sport, public services, international equality and much more.
“We have deliberately chosen to have this event during LGBT history month so that we can reflect on the community that we are all a part of and shape that community’s future.
“An LGBTI conference organised by any political party has never been done on this scale before, and we are proud that it’s the SNP making it a first.”
Other speakers include Nathan Gale from the Scottish Trans Alliance and representatives from LEAP Sports and Police Scotland.
The conference will take place on Saturday 7th February at Glasgow Caledonian University.