FORBES’ campaign to replace Nicola Sturgeon, who announced she was standing down as SNP leader, pretty much hit the rocks after her primitive views on same-sex marriage and having children out of wedlock were widely exposed this week.
Forbes, currently Scotland’s Finance Minister, is a member of the evangelical Free Church of Scotland, known as “the Wee Frees”. She was widely was tipped as the ideal successor to Sturgeon.
But after her repugnant views came to light her campaign turned into what one journalist and social commentator—Owen Jones—described as a “spectacular car crash“.
The Financial Times reports today that First Minister Sturgeon and other prominent backers have now withdrawn their support for Forbes who was was previously the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed her.
Forbes said in media interviews she would have voted against the 2014 legalisation of gay marriage in Scotland.
Today she also suggested it was “wrong” to have children out of wedlock.
Public Finance minister Tom Arthur said equal marriage was among the Scottish parliament’s “greatest achievements” and one he would have been proud to vote for had he been an MSP in 2014. He wrote on Twitter.
Consequently, I am unable to continue to support Kate’s campaign.
Clare Haughey, Minister for Children and Young People, who had nominated Forbes for the SNP leadership, also dropped her support in a tweet.
Richard Lochhead, Employment Minister and another early Forbes backer, said the SNP could not have a leader who would vote against same-sex marriage.
Image via YouTube
Gerry Hassan, above, Professor of Social Change at Glasgow Caledonian University, said Forbes’ statement showed a lack of experience and that he doubted that her campaign could recover.
A whole host of politicians would have known to have the dexterity and skills to body-swerve that subject better, or present their views in a more generous, open way.
Hassan said. Forbes’s socially conservative views are rooted in her membership of the Free Church of Scotland, which espouses highly traditional Protestant Christian views and is against gay marriage.
I would have hoped that given Kate has so many friends, including myself, who are LGBTQ and hold her and her talents in such high regard, she might have tempered them or at least considered her response a little more carefully.
Image via YouTube
On the first full day of campaigning in the six-week contest Forbes’ pronouncements stood in direct contrast to those of the Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, above, a practising Muslim, who emerged as front-runner and picked up a fist of endorsements from senior party figures.
Yousaf, who fully supports Scottish independence, said on Monday that he backed Sturgeon’s stances on same-sex marriage, abortion clinic buffer zones, banning conversion practices and on gender recognition changes, stating he would “absolutely” challenge the UK government’s block on Holyrood’s gender recognition bill.
He said the UK government’s decision to block the bill, which recent polls suggest is supported by a majority of Scottish voters, was in reality “an assault, an attack” on Holyrood’s autonomy.
Although Forbes has said that she, too, was against the blocking of the bill it is abundantly clear that her abhorrent religious views makes her unfit to lead a socially progressive party.
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