In 2007, Labour Councillor for Waltham Forest, Miranda Grells was convicted and disbarred from holding public office of electoral fraud following her making a semantic link between homosexuality and paedophillia in her [temporarily] successful campaign against the LibDem incumbent, Barry Walsh.
Currently, SNP Councillor for Selkirk, Kenneth Gunn (also Convenor for the SNP in Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk Constituency) is under fire for deeming that “so-called gays” (I would love to know what this means) – who are “really very sad people” – are “running the country and running down Christianity”, alongwith “non-believers and heathens”. This is not his singing:
His wife, Wilma, has a little better opinion of the English.
A local lesbian couple, Barbara Harrison and Linda Jackson, have lodged official complaints with Borders Council.
An initial half-hearted response from SNP publicity department has stated:
Mr Gunn’s religious beliefs are a personal matter. The comments do not reflect a party position, nor was he speaking in a political capacity.
The party position is one which, nominally at least, has “no place for prejudice and discrimination if we are to ensure Scotland’s future success as a welcoming, modern nation“. Although Yet, as yet there has been no official statement, from a party whose leader mistakes multinational companies for “London boardrooms” and vows to fight for haggises on the beaches, regarding such prejudiced and discriminatory statements.
Although Joe Fitzpatrick, SNP MSP for Dundee West, has called for Gunn’s investigation by party authorities, the immediate response from others - including Kenny Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North – appears to have been defensive and dissmive, “the individual in question is not an MSP, therefore to suggest this tars’ us all with these alleged comments is nonsensical”.
Maybe that is best. Because it would then have to examine the utterances of its wunderkind and PPC for Glasgow Central, Osama Saeed (also director of the Scottish Islamic Foundation) who has promoted, on his personal website Eye on Gay Muslims, which advocates ‘cures’ for homosexuality. From down the trouser-leg, we hear:
You cannot justify homosexual activity in the light of divine revelation, and no doubt it is all sinful. Understand Islam properly, realise that even the identity of being “gay” is problematic and un-Islamic, and repent to Allah, who is Forgiving, Merciful.
And, it is not the only religious organization, which believes homosexuality is inherently sinful and that practioners are in need of ‘curing’, he has recommended on his personal blog.
Maybe it is time for the SNP to drop shibboleths of gay-rights.
UPDATE – Blair in the annotations observes that SNP MEP Alyn Smith is openly bisexual.