Scottish minister sparks fury by comparing women's rights activists to antisemites

Lorna Slater's remarks, made as a swipe at the BBC, have been described as “grossly offensive”

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Scottish minister Lorna Slater has sparked fury after comparing women’s rights activists to racists and antisemites.

Ms Slater, one of Nicola Sturgeon’s coalition ministers and member of the Scottish Green Party, made the remarks while slamming the BBC for platforming voices who oppose new Scottish legislation that states anyone over 16 can change their legal sex by self-identification only.

Ms Slater said: “The BBC only recently stopped putting on climate deniers because they required balance.

“We wouldn't put balance on the question of racism or antisemitism, but we allow this fictional notion of balance when it comes to anti-trans. The whole thing is disgusting."

Lorna Slater Green Party co-leader
Lorna Slater Green Party co-leader
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. It's openly supportive of trans rights.”

Susan Smith, director of campaign group For Women Scotland dubbed the comments as "deliberately inflammatory" and were tantamount to calling for the “censorship and suppression of political opponents”.

Ms Smith told The Telegraph: “It is ironic she likens women's rights activists to antisemites, racists and climate-change deniers, when some might think her intemperate, incendiary, fact-free rant bears all the hall marks of extremist bigotry as well as a denial of the fundamentals of biological science.

“Such bullying hectoring should concern any parliamentarian who wants an open, thorough examination of legislation.”

A Scottish Government spokesman 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 strongly held views on the Gender Recognition Act and have always been keen to seek consensus where possible and to 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.”