By Damian Grabiec
A big percentage of Scottish LGBT people are expected to vote in favour of independence in today’s referendum according to an opinion poll and preferences on social media.
More than three quarters of 1000 Scottish LGBT people surveyed by gay charity KaleidoScot at the beginning of this month backed breaking away from the rest of the UK. The Facebook page of the Yes LGBT campaign has also attracted enormous support compared to its No equivalent. Almost 17,000 people liked the Yes LGBT Facebook page, compared to only 1000 who liked the LGBT together page.
According to a one gay pro-independence campaigner, the LGBT community in Scotland will vote yes because it feels let down by Westminster.
“The full powers of independence being held in Scotland offers our community the opportunity to press for so much to change in policy that has been ignored by Westminster,” says Yes LGBT Campaign Manager for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Paul Robertson. “The equalisation of private pension rights for gay couples, for example.”
Robertson also claims that the high support for a yes result amongst gay and lesbian voters is explained by their higher than average interest in politics.
“LGBT communities tend to be strongly politicised and the support for equality, diversity and social justice which pervades the politics of LGBT people has meant that the positive and aspirational Yes campaign is a rather natural option for LGBTI individuals,” he says.
But lesbian Glasgow Labour councillor Judith Fisher believes leaving the UK will weaken the gay community in Scotland.
“It makes sense to be part of a larger unit, giving us more influence on the world stage, so we can help secure the rights of LGBTI individuals elsewhere in the world,” she says. “The rights we’ve secured have been hard fought for and I think we can be proud of what we’ve achieved together. So many of our rights are newly secured and need to be protected. Remaining part of the UK, as an active member of the EU, is the best way to do that.”