Scotland leads the way when it comes to LGBT politicians
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has broken lots of records recently, most notably winning 56 out of a possible 59 seats in last week's general election. Another big reason to celebrate is that its the party with the most LGBT MPs of all major political parties in the world.
American academic, Professor Andrew Reynolds, has been busy studying the stats and has named the SNP as leading the way when it comes to LGBT inclusion.
On the University of North Carolina's Representation and Rights Research Initiative website, Professor Reynolds wrote: "[The SNP] exemplify the demographic diversity that is LGBT Britain: ranging from the high profile Edinburgh QC Joanna Cherry to the 20-year-old Glasgow University politics student Mhairi Black. Their parliamentary party is now 12.5 percent LGBT, which means that the SNP have the highest proportion of LGBT MPs anywhere in the world."
The recently published 2015 Rainbow Europe Index confirms that Scotland is the frontrunner when it comes to equalities campaigning.
The report, compiled by international human rights association ILGA-Europe, measures the progress of European countries on LGBTI equality against 48 criteria, such as legal protections from discrimination, rights for transgender people and equality in family law.
Since legalising same-sex marriage in 2014, Scotland meets 92 percent of the ILGA-Europe criteria (compared to 86 percent for the U.K. as a whole).
This news was welcomed by the Equality Network, a charity working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights in Scotland. However policy and public affairs coordinator Tom French warned against complacency saying, "The fact that Scotland now ranks best in Europe overall on LGBTI legal equality is welcome recognition for the efforts of campaigners and the willingness of our politicians to properly consult with LGBTI people and then act on the evidence by passing progressive measures. However, the Equality Network warns against any complacency, as we know there is still much more to do to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Scotland.
"As ILGA's review shows there are still areas where Scotland is failing to respect LGBTI human rights and falling behind the progress in other countries, particularly when it comes to the rights of trans and intersex people," French continued. "There is also a big difference between securing legal rights and ensuring full equality for LGBTI people in their everyday lives. Despite real progress in the law, LGBTI people in Scotland are still facing unacceptable levels of prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage throughout their lives."