GENDER: Hundreds of protesters attend demo against Sturgeon’s gender reforms

By Democrat reporter

Hundreds of protesters took over George Square in Glasgow to demonstrate against the Scottish Government’s gender reforms which have been subject to huge scrutiny over the last fortnight.

The Isla Bryson scandal, which saw a trans double rapist be sent to a woman’s prison, has meant a new spotlight has been shone over them.

Passed in December by a majority of MSPs, the Gender Reform Recognition Bill allows trans people to legally change their gender without the need of a medical certificate if they have lived that way for three months.

But concerns have been raised that this could allow predatory men to take advantage of it to gain access to formerly safe female-only spaces such as changing rooms and bathrooms.

This fear has only heightened following a number of trans prisoners scandals over the last two weeks which has left Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP on a shaky nail.

SNP/Green ministers were boo-ed – Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie.

Hundreds of Scots showed their dissatisfaction on Sunday as they attended a Let Women Speak rally organised by renowned feminist Kellie-Jay Keen.

It did get challenged by a counter-protest called “cabaret against hate” which included trans protesters and also furries, who are adults dressed up like fluffy animals, but Police Scotland kept them apart in George Square.

Mentions of prominent SNP and Scottish Greens politicians received massive boos at the Let Women Speak demonstration as female anger about their policies came to the forefront.

One woman took to the stage and read out the names of people who had brought them there to protest, with all the figures receiving a negative reaction.

She said: “Nicola Sturgeon, that well-known feminist, but possibly not the old-fashioned kind. She’s failed at ferries, she’s failed at the attainment gap, but she’s a champion at dismissing women’s concerns and handing over the sex-based rights of women to any male that wants them.

“Nicola, is a double rapist a man or a woman? And this to Patrick Harvie, always on the front row of the gender show trials with his mantras and reputational smears. Patrick Harvie, is a double rapist a man or a woman?

“We have gone from transwomen are women to a rapist is a rapist. How did we get here? To MSPs in the Scottish Parliament I say, rapists in women jails are a wake-up call.

“We tried to talk to you about our concerns but you told us, no debate. We tried to warn you but you wouldn’t listen. Are you hearing us now?”

Meanwhile,  SNP Education Secretary appeared on BBC’s the Sunday Show where she said that the SNP gender rebels should consider if they were ‘comfortable’ in the party.

Shirley-Anne Somerville on BBC's The Sunday Show
Shirley-Anne Somerville on BBC’s The Sunday Show.

The SNP’s gender rebels came under attack once again from a Nicola Sturgeon loyalist as they were urged to consider whether they were “comfortable” within the party.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville was asked if she agreed with colleague Alyn Smith’s comments that those who do not support the gender reforms should leave the SNP.

It comes as the nationalist party look increasingly split on the Gender Reform Recognition Bill which allows trans people to legally change their gender without the need of a medical certificate.

A total of nine SNP MSPs voted against the bill at Holyrood, with Ash Regan even resigning her ministerial post in order to do this and protect female-only spaces.

At Westminster, there is a number of nationalist politicians who have also been outspoken against the legislation, including Joanna Cherry and Angus MacNeil.

Joanna Cherry

Joanna Cherry, one of nine SNP MSPs voted against the bill at Holyrood.

Ms Somerville was interviewed on BBC’s The Sunday Show where she was asked if she thought that those SNP members who did not support the proposals should quit the party.

She said: “We all stood on a manifesto that was obligated to look at improving the trans community’s life chances and life circumstances particularly around gender recognition.

“I think if we stand on a manifesto for that there’s an expectation on any representative of any political party that you follow that manifesto.

“I think it’s up to individual members as we go through their status as elected members that they may wish to take decisions that are against their manifesto.

“They can do that, but they should then question whether it is comfortable being in a party where you pick and choose the policies after you’ve been elected.”

Ms Somerville did stop short of saying that the likes of Ms Cherry should resign, but said that her colleague Mr Smith made a fair point when it came to politicians standing as independents if they do not like their party’s policies.

She added: “I don’t think people should resign, at an election if you are standing as an MSP candidate on that manifesto you should follow that through.

“It is entirely up to (the rebels) if they wish to stand as SNP candidate then they have to stand on our manifesto with the expectation that they will follow this through.”

Her comments were seen as hostile towards those members of the party who voiced concerns about the gender reforms and then voted against the government.

Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “Shirley-Anne Somerville tells #BBCSundayShow that SNP #GRRBill rebels should consider if they’re “comfortable” in the SNP.

Her comments will only add further fuel to the fire which the SNP party seem to be on at the moment as the public turn against them due to the Isla Bryson case.

SNP MP Ms Cherry already hit out against the autocracy within her party following reports that an MSP will be challenging the BBC over their Question Time debate from Glasgow where the crowd were loudly anti-GRR.

She wrote: “And this nonsense needs to stop. We are not living in East Germany before the wall came down. #FreedomOfExpression & debate is the foundation of a democratic society.”

Public have turned against SNP due to the Isla Bryson case (above).

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