The new reshuffled Scottish government has three openly gay ministers, and overwhelming number of LGBTI equality supporters, both in Cabinet and ministerial posts.
The new reshuffled Cabinet is made up, for the most part, of strong allies of LGBTI Equality and is also, for the first time in Holyrood’s history, a 50-50 gender split.
Opinions within Scotland’s LGBTI community were on the whole favorable although some expressed disappointment at the lack of representation of LGBTI people in cabinet and the inclusion of a Secretary who voted against equality.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland along with her Deputy, John Swinney have been consistent supporters of LGBTI equality.
The Scottish government will also have three openly gay ministers; Marco Biagi MSP, promoted to the post of Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, who, at the age 32 years, will be one of the youngest member of the government.
Openly gay MSPs Joe Fitzpatrick and Derek Mackay also remain in ministerial positions.
The new Cabinet consists, mostly, of strong allies LGBTI rights, with Shona Robison, a strong supporter of Equality, being promoted Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport.
While Alex Neil, another friend to Scotland’s LGBTI community, leaving the above position to the Cabinet as the Secretary for Social justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights.
All other Cabinet Secretaries, with the exception of Roseanna Cunningham, who has been promoted to Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, have been supporters of LGBTI rights.
Angela Constance, a strong ally of LGBT rights will replace Michael Russell as the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.
There are also MSPs who opposed LGBTI Equality, including Alasdair Allan and Fergus Ewing who retained their ministerial posts.
The First Minister said new Cabinet is “a team of all the talents.
“The aims of my government are clear: to create a nation that is both social democratic and socially just, a nation that is confident in itself and governed effectively and a nation which will address poverty, support business, promote growth and tackle inequality.
“The new Cabinet team I have announced today will pursue these priorities with verve, vigour and determination.”
Rob McDowall, Member of the Equality Council and Chair of the LGBT Network praised the new Scottish government saying it was “a step in the right direction.”
While Nathan Sparling, former political assistant to SNP MSPs said: “I think the First Minister should be commended for including the most openly LGBT Ministers in her Government. I think it is great to have a Cabinet that have consistently stood up for the LGBT community and I look forward to seeing the work that they will do to make Scotland the best place to live for LGBT people.”
Some were critical of the appointment of Roseanna Cunningham as Cabinet Secretary, Claire McNab, tweeted:
— Claire McNab (@2legged) November 21, 2014
While Gregor Fisher Murray was critical of the lack of LGBTI representation in the Cabinet and its inclusion of Cunningham, tweeting:
— Gregor Fisher Murray (@grogipher) November 21, 2014