Scottish Left Forum, a group on Facebook consisting of left people from across the left spectrum have recently announced that debates on LGBTIQA++ people’s rights that give equal platform to those who want to quell those rights.
Neil Scott (he/him) explains why the admins have decided on this approach.
“I grew up in a place (Northern Ireland) that debated Catholic, republican and nationalists rights. A place where LGBTIQA and women’s rights were legislated against. Bigotry was given credence by given equal… and most of the time a more prominent platform than basic human rights.
Back in the late nineties (I moved to Scotland in 1993) I had no political home. Labour had left me, and I really had little time for cartoon heroes like Sheridan. I liked Charles Kennedy of the Lib Dems, because he was pulling that party to the left of centre, so I started going to their local meetings.
One night, it was decided to have a “debate” on section 28. Debating people’s rights. People spoke of their “fear for children,” and fear of “groomers” and fear of rape. Just like they did in the southern states of America in the sixties as people discussed black people’s rights. And just like they did in Nazi Germany when they were taking away Jewish, black, traveller’s, disabled and lgbtiq people’s rights. I left the meeting and never entertained the Lib Dems again. The middle ground of giving credence to bigotry and fear created by bigots really is not my thing. I’ve seen where it leads.
The current “debate” about people’s rights isn’t taking off in Scotland. Thank the stars that the majority are well informed about GRA and well educated about scapegoating and prejudice. But the vocal few on social media have given bigots, the far right etc enough confidence to actually attack people in their homes, at their work and on the streets. Whether you agree or not that the LGBTIQA community are a vulnerable community- mental illness, suicide, violence are hugely common within the community. Now add to that, abuse and attacks on the community are soaring according to Government figures out last week. As Socialists, we really must do what we can to protect all vulnerable people. At present the LGBTIQA community are under attack across the western world. There is no way that we should be giving any credibility to arguments that are pretty much the same “fears” we quelled during the Scottish section 28 debate, and fought against 1936 (Spain) to 1945, and Black peoples fought (and are still fighting) across the western world.
‘Stifling debate’ (as we’ve been accused of) over someone’s right to exist is a socialist act in this case. Social media really is nowhere to encourage right wing, bigoted, prejudiced scapegoating views. We can’t control social media, but as a socialist forum, we can stand up for vulnerable groups.
Ask yourself, “would I allow “debate” on any other vulnerable peoples right to exist?
Please watch the short video on this tweet. This is the kind of conversation our main stream journalists should be having with politicians and a prominent author who are jumping aboard the scapegoat train.
I’m proud that Scottish Left Forum admins have taken this stance. And I welcome the left LGBTIQA++ people who have joined.
Scotland should be no place for bigotry, persecution and fascism. This small act places us firmly against the current world wide fascist creep.”
Scottish Left Forum can be accessed via Facebook