Scottish minister sparks fury by comparing women’s rights activists to anti-Semites

Lorna Slater’s remarks, made as a jab at the BBC, have been described as ‘grossly offensive’

Scottish Minister Lorna Slater has sparked fury after she compared women’s rights activists to racists and anti-Semites.

Ms Slater, one of Nicola Sturgeon’s coalition ministers and a member of the Scottish Green Party, made the remarks while criticizing the BBC for voicing voices that oppose new Scottish legislation which states that anyone from over 16 can change legal gender by self-identification only.

Ms Slater said: ‘The BBC only recently stopped putting climate deniers on because they needed a balance.

“We would not put a balance on the issue of racism or anti-Semitism, but we allow this fictional notion of balance when it comes to anti-trans. The whole thing is disgusting.”

Lorna Slater co-leader of the Green Party

Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon's government.

Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s government.

Speaking to the Herald on Sunday, the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity said: “The Scottish Government is in the right place, absolutely. He openly supports trans rights.

Susan Smith, director of campaign group For Women Scotland, called the comments “deliberately inflammatory” and amounted to calling for “censorship and the removal of political opponents”.

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Ms Smith told the Telegraph: ‘It’s ironic that she likens women’s rights activists to anti-Semites, racists and climate change deniers, when some might think her intemperate, incendiary and factless rant carries all the marks of extremist bigotry as well as a denial of the foundations of biological science.

“This kind of bullying should concern any parliamentarian who wants open and thorough scrutiny of legislation.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The aim of this Government is to ensure that trans people in Scotland enjoy equality and feel safe and accepted for who they are.

“We appreciate the range of strong opinions on gender recognition law and have always been keen to seek consensus where possible and work to support respectful debate.

“We are committed to making changes…to improve and simplify the process for a trans person to gain legal recognition.”