Great Scot!

Scotland’s Conservative Party Gets Lesbian Leader—Too Bad The Country Hates Them

Ruth Davidson becomes the UK's first lesbian or gay party leader
Ruth Davidson was narrowly elected leader of the Scottish Conservative Party on Friday, making her the first openly gay head of a major political party in the UK.
First elected to Parliament just earlier this year, Davidson, 32, said in her acceptance speech that “I’ve met our members from Selkirk to Shetland and all points in between… They’ve been engaged, they’ve been enthusiastic, they’ve been welcoming and they’re excited about our bright future too.” While the Conservative Party is in power in Parliament, its popularity in Scotland is minimal and membership is anemic.
Davidson—a former BBC journalist who lives with her partner in Glasgow’s West End—has been open about her sexuality from the start. But she’s also been open about being a devout member of the Church of Scotland, which is still wrestling with how to treat the LGBT community. And her party still has a black eye with gays for passing Section 28, a government act from the 1980s banning schools from “promoting homosexuality.” (It was repealed in 2003.)
At least one person isn’t happy about Davidson’s win: Paul McBride—justice adviser to Davidson’s predecessor, Annabel Goldie—has resigned in the wake of the election. Comparing Davidson to Goldie, who resigned in May, he told the Sunday Herald that the Tories “have replaced one nice woman with one not so very nice woman.” McBride later commented that “The Scottish Tories are no friends of the people of Scotland,” adding that “their naked opportunism… demonstrates why they will remain unelectable.”
Tell us how you really feel, Paul.

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  • kylew

    I think it’s very easy to characterise McBride’s resignation as anti-gay, but the fact is, the conservative party has never been the friend of the working man in Britain, and it could simply be that the man is principled about whom he works for.

  • Robert in NYC

    The Scottish National Party (SNP) is the largest, strongest party in Scotland. The Tories don’t stand a chance of making any headway. The SNP is currently in a consultation on marriage equality, while the Tories south of the border will begin theirs in March 2012. Interesting times indeed in the UK.

  • Kurt

    Vote Labour

  • RolftheGanger

    First, Scotland generally does not ‘hate’ the Tories. that would be to give them too much respect. Scotland detests the Tories, utterly and irrevocably.
    Second, the Tory membership is not ‘anemic’ – it is around 8ooo, average age 70, in a population of over 5 million. Derisory.
    Third and most importantly; is that this lady is using her ‘lesbian’ label as a diversionary tactic. She waves it like a bullfighter’s cloak to deflect from the real target. Just as she uses: ‘I will not automatically defer to Cameron’ (UK Tory PM) to infer a ‘put Scottish interests first’ when the reality is that she will be subservient, dependent and a Unionist lickspittle, in true anti-Scottish Conservative and UNIONIST Party.

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