Stonewall has given a statement in response to the sudden announcement


Yesterday (15 February) Nicola Sturgeon announced that she will stand down as leader of the Scottish National Party and from her position as First Minister of Scotland. This is, of course, a great loss to the LGBTQIA community and all marginalised people in Scotland. Sturgeon has become known for her strong progressive stances that remained steady in opposition to growing anti-trans sentiment in the UK.

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Nations at Stonewall (he/him) has provided the following statement: “As Nicola Sturgeon announces she is to resign as Scotland’s first woman and longest serving First Minister, Stonewall would like to thank her for her unwavering commitment to advancing the rights of all marginalised people in Scotland, including women, those with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ communities.

As Deputy First Minister, she helped steer through Scotland’s equal marriage legislation. In 2018 as First Minister, she became the first serving First Minister in Scotland to lead a Pride March. The same year saw legislation proposed by her Government to pardon gay and bi men convicted of having consensual sex with other men before it was decriminalised pass unanimously in the Scottish Parliament.  In 2021 Scotland became the first country in the world to embed lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans inclusive education across the school curriculum.

In the past few months, the media’s focus has been on the passing of the Gender Recognition Reform bill, an Act that would ensure transgender rights in Scotland are in line with international best practice and the equal of some of the most progressive countries on the planet.

Throughout this process, Ms Sturgeon has approached this subject in the way we hope all leaders would: with compassion and understanding, and with judgements that are grounded in facts and evidence.

In her speech, Ms Sturgeon identifies a need to de-polarise public debate, and to ‘reset the tone and tenor of our discourse’. We agree wholeheartedly. It is important for us all to reflect that when politicians attempt to use marginalised groups as political footballs, there are human lives in the middle who are at stake.”

The strength it must have taken to resign is admirable, and there is no doubt that Sturgeon’s boldness in her work will mark her as one of the most impressive politicians in history.

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