An academic and gay rights campaigner has claimed critics of Nicola Sturgeon’s transgender reforms were being ‘barred from the political process’ in Scotland after she was barred from joining an LGBT group in Holyrood.
Dr Shereen Benjamin said she was seen as ‘the wrong kind of lesbian’ after pro-trans MSPs and lobbyists unanimously refused her membership at a Scottish Parliament forum, which she has said she had wanted to join to find common ground with the naysayers.
Last December, she applied to join the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party LGBTI+ group as a representative of For Women Scotland, one of the most prominent campaign groups, which opposes SNP plans to overhaul the law. on gender recognition.
However, his candidacy was turned down by existing members, which include MSPs and several representatives of taxpayer-funded lobby groups supporting controversial reforms.
At the group’s previous meeting, set up in 2016 to “promote and discuss issues of importance to the LGBTI+ community in Scotland”, members had backed the idea of hearing from more “women’s sector” groups.
“We made it clear that our request was in good faith and that we wanted to help find resolutions that will protect everyone,” said Dr Benjamin, a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and a former teacher.
“It seems the only lesbians the Scottish Parliament wants to work with are those who deny the materiality of sex. As same-sex attracted women, we seem to be the “wrong type of lesbian” and can be excluded from the political process, for no reason.