Stonewall Scotand, the LGBT equality charity, yesterday published its equality manifesto ahead of thiis year’s elections for the Scottish Parliament.
The charity will be campaigning on five key areas, hoping to urge political parties to adopt its positions.
The “five pillars” on which Stonewall Scotland’s equality manifesto is based are a fit-for-purpose education system in which young LGBT people “feel safe, included and respected”, fair treatment for LGBT people in public services, combating hate crime, reviewing legislation affecting trans people and protecting LGBT rights both in Scotland and abroad.
Some of their key aims include better training for teachers on LGBT issues and bullying as part of a long-term strategy, as well as raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it.
The charity is also calling for a review of the Gender Recognition Act, and for the Scottish Government to and act on at the devolved aspects of the Transgender Equality Inquiry undertaken by the Women and Equality’s Select Committee at Westminster – especially in relation to healthcare provision.
The manifesto welcomes some of the legislative and social progress made in recent years, but warns against complacency – highlighting many areas where action is both necessary and overdue.
Stonewall Scotland has also committed itself to helping to train teachers in tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and to calling out any discriminatory comments made by political parties or parliamentary candidate. In the lead-up to the election, voters will also be able to contact their local candidates directly via Stonewall.
Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “A lot has been achieved during this Parliament; however the biggest risk now is that huge achievements in legal equality may result in complacency.
“Legal equality is not enough by itself; we need to encourage candidates to help change hearts and minds in their communities to achieve social equality.
“Equality must sit at the heart of the political agenda…political parties should be thinking long and hard about how they can help us fight for a Scotland and a world where every LGBT person can be accepted without exception.”
The full equality manifesto can be read on Stonewall Scotland’s website.