Monday , 21 October 2019

Three openly gay ministers in the New Scottish Government

New Scottish Cabinet
New Scottish Cabinet

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:

While Gregor Fisher Murray was critical of the lack of LGBTI representation in the Cabinet and its inclusion of Cunningham, tweeting:

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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6 comments

  1. Its ROSEANNA Cunningham, cant you even get a name right. Does anyone proof read these before publishing?
    You perpetuate the stereotypes of LGBTI people yet again by leading this article on the sexuality of the cabinet and assume this is the main item of interest because these men are gay, however the First Minister has specifically stipulated the cabinet has been constructed on MERIT. The sexuality of members of this cabinet is of no interest. Shame on KaleidoScot again for their poor judgement on headlines.
    But this comment probably wont appear like my others.

    • Hey douche do you mean sexual orientation? It's not sexuality. Idiot.

      • Well I welcome the inclusion of LGBTQ ministers in the Scottish Government whatever their sexuality! However as a gay person myself, I'm happy to get this information about political leaders from this (LGBTQ) web site. I'm not quite so pleased to read needlessly rude comments calling other commenters 'douche' and 'idiot'. What if we start getting stereotyped as foul-mouthed?

  2. Humza's younger than Marco, no?

  3. You don't really give your argument any merit when you resort to insults David. I'm gay and pretty happy with her cabinet. There will always be people with alternative views, but that's what democracy is about.

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