Women’s rights activists are like ANTI-SEMITES, says Scottish minister

Women’s rights activists are like ANTI-SEMITES, says Scottish minister: fury at Lorna Slater’s ‘grossly offensive’ comparison between feminists fighting against trans rights laws and racists

  • Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s government under the Green-SNP deal
  • Ms Slater, 46, spoke out after feminists criticized new sex reassignment legislation
  • She asked why the BBC allowed voices against the law to be heard
  • Slater said: ‘We wouldn’t put a balance on the issue of racism or anti-Semitism’
  • But the women activists said some might think her remarks were hardline bigotry’

One of Nicola Sturgeon’s coalition ministers has been called ‘grossly offensive’ after comparing feminists concerned about new transgender laws to racists or anti-Semites.

Lorna Slater, 46, who was given a cabinet post under Ms Sturgeon’s SNP deal with the environmental policy group, made the remarks in an outburst at the BBC.

She has railed against the company for its inclusion of voices who oppose new legislation in Scotland that allows anyone over the age of 16 to change their legal gender solely by self-identification.

Speaking in The Herald on Sunday, Ms Slater said: ‘The BBC only recently stopped highlighting climate deniers 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 as it relates to anti-trans. The whole thing is disgusting.

“The Scottish Government is in the right place, absolutely. He openly supports trans rights.

Lorna Slater, 46, has spoken out after feminists criticized new sex reassignment legislation in Scotland

Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon's government in the Green-SNP coalition government

Lorna Slater is a minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s government in the Green-SNP coalition government

Ms Slater added that the Greens were fielding trans candidates in local elections and that she was “genuinely afraid for their safety”.

She added that she believed people who were against the new law had been secretly funded by American right-wing groups.

But Susan Smith, director of campaign group For Women Scotland, told The Telegraph Ms Slater’s remarks were “deliberately inflammatory” and amounted to calling for “censorship and the suppression of political opponents”.

Ms Smith added: “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 bears all the hallmarks of the extreme bigotry as well as a denial of the foundations of biological science.

She made the remarks in an outburst at the BBC over the companies' inclusion of critics of the law

She made the remarks in an outburst at the BBC over the companies’ inclusion of critics of the law

“Such intimidation should concern any parliamentarian who wants an open and thorough review of legislation.”

Legislation published by the SNP-Green coalition government makes it easier for everyone over 16 in Scotland to change their legal sex.

The new rules allow for self-identification, which eliminates the need for a medical diagnosis or a physician.

But the new regulations have been harshly criticized.

Feminists say the Good Intention Act could be exploited by male predators to gain access to female-only areas.

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.”