Press Release: The SSS welcomes the announcement of a pardon for thousands of gay and bisexual men

Posted by on 11 November, 2017 | 0 comments

The Scottish Secular Society welcomes the announcement yesterday (7th November) by the First Minister of a pardon for thousands of gay and bisexual men who were subject to legal prosecution prior to 1981 and subsequently due to use of outdated laws.

Unfortunately, contributions to Parliament did not elaborate on the role that religious culture played in the silencing and exclusion of gay men in Scotland in the late twentieth century.

Sadly, today there are still Christians in Scotland who actively campaign against LGBT people and who view the relatively recent moves towards full equality as part of an agenda to undermine religious faith and ‘traditional’ values. These are views shared by far-right extremists across the Western World.

Aside from this extreme fringe, there is often a deafening silence from major churches and their members on LGBT equality. This is best demonstrated by the religious reaction to the Time for Inclusive Education Campaign, which advocates the inclusion of LGBT issues within the curriculum and a more robust approach to homophobic bullying.

There have, however, been several notable exceptions from clergy. Through speaking out, they are acting within a progressive tradition within the Scottish churches which stretches back to the late 1960s.

However, it remains the case that much opinion within the Scottish churches is hostile to or at best silent on the issue of LGBT equality. As we reflect today on how far Scottish society has come, it is imperative that more liberal voices within Scottish Christianity continue to be heard in support of completing this journey.

Charlie Lynch, Secretary

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