Scottish Leadership Race: Backlash as Christian Contender Defends Traditional Marriage, Declares Trans Rapist Is a Man

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 5: Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes leads the Stage 3 (f
Ken Jack/Getty Images

A leading contender to replace Nicola Sturgeon as the leader of the Scottish National Party — therefore Scotland’s First Minister — has come under fire for her Christian beliefs on the importance of traditional marriage and for declaring that a transgender rapist is in fact a man.

A leadership competition for the top job in Scottish politics was triggered, in large part, by the outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s radical trans politics push, and insistence that a convicted rapist with intact male genitals is actually a woman. Yet a candidate to replace her in the top job voicing a dissenting view on the very matter that brought the present leadership down is being harangued in the press for her Christian views.

Finance Minister Kate Forbes has faced a barrage of attacks from within her own leftist Scottish National Party (SNP) for unapologetically stating her opposition to gay marriage and having children out of wedlock, and calling infamous transgender rapist Isla Bryson (formerly Adam Graham) a man — a simple statement of fact that proved elusive for outgoing leader Nicola Sturgeon.

When pressed on how her faith as a member of the traditionally conservative Free Church of Scotland might impact her governance style, the Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: “We need to be very careful that we are not saying in Scotland that you cannot hold public office, even the highest public office, if you are a member of a particular faith.

“My approach is I’ve been open about faith, the influence of faith in my life. But we appear to be able to have a Hindu in Number 10, is it beyond the pale to think we might have a Christian in Bute House?”.

Bute House is the historic townhouse in central Edinburgh that serves as official residence and office to the First Minister of Scotland, a position roughly analogous in the United Kingdom to a State Governor in the U.S..

One such article of faith that has come under fire has been her opposition to gay marriage, saying that she would have voted against the equal marriage act had she been in office when gay marriage was legalised in 2014 as it would have contravened her religious convictions as a member of the Calvinist Free Church of Scotland, which teaches that marriage should be confined to the union between a man and a woman.

Forbes has said, however, that despite her opposition to gay marriage on moral grounds, she would enforce the law as it is and would not seek to overturn the act. Nevertheless, the mere whiff of objection to gay marriage has seen many within her own party question her fitness to serve as first minister of the devolved government in Scotland.

The Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work Richard Lochhead, Minister for Children and Young People, Clare Haughey, and Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur all announced that they could no longer support Forbes over the issue.

Forbes has also come under criticism from some on the left over her stated opposition to having children outside of marriage. While she said that it is up to individuals to make their own choices, she told Sky News: “In terms of my faith, my faith would say that sex is for marriage and that’s the approach that I would practice.”

While the left has at times embraced single motherhood as a virtue in recent memory, there are deep societal issues that spring up from children being raised without fathers in the household. According to the Scottish government, as of 2019, there were 579,000 families with dependent children, out of which one in four (144,000) were to single parents, the vast majority of which (92 per cent) were to single mothers.

The proportion of single-parent households in Scotland is far greater than that in England and Wales, which stood at around 15 per cent last year. This can have massively negative consequences for children, with Health Scotland admitting that “children in lone-parent families in Scotland are more likely to be in poverty and to remain in poverty for longer compared to children in couple families,” with children of single parents being about twice as likely to be living in poverty as those with two parents.

Research has also shown that children who are raised by a single parent are more likely to be prone to abusing alcohol or drugs. It is perhaps unsurprising therefore, that Scotland has consistently ranked as the overdose capital of Europe, with the country retaining its title in 2021 with 1,330 people losing their lives to drug overdoses. This is around 3.7 per cent higher than the UK as a whole.

Yet, even with such evidence pointing to the utility of traditional marriage in producing a stable and happier society, one SNP MP told the Daily Record of Forbes’ religious beliefs: “I thought the intention was to select a First Minister to lead the country to a progressive future, not back to 1823”.

The Finance Minister also baulked her party on the issue of transgenderism. In stark contrast to outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, whose fall was widely attributed to her failure to answer the question as to whether a biologically male rapist — who claimed to be transgender to be placed in a female prison — was a man or not, Forbes bluntly stated this week: “A rapist cannot be a woman and therefore my straight answer would be that Isla Bryson is a man.”

Forbes also hinted that she would not challenge the blocking of the Scottish Government’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill by Rishi Sunak’s government in Westminster. She also said that she likely would not have voted for the bill in its present form, which would have allowed children as young as sixteen years old to change their gender

“I would be strongly minded not to proceed with that court challenge, subject to legal advice and so on,” said Ms Forbes, adding: “I would much rather engage in discussion with the UK Government about the amendments that need to be made than proceed with the court challenge.”

Her chief opponent for the top role in Scotland, Humza Yousaf, meanwhile has stated that he would launch a legal challenge to protect the transgender legislation. The far-left politician, who currently serves as the country’s health minister, rose to international attention over his crafting of even more radically censorious hate speech legislation in Scotland.

Yousaf, a practising Muslim, has so far faced little questioning over his religious beliefs in comparison to Forbes, but has said that he would not “legislate on the basis of his faith”.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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