Under new Scottish Government’s proposed legislation all those who have convictions for same-sex sexual activity that is now lawful will automatically be pardoned. Separately the Scottish Government has also been engaging with Police Scotland over the summer to identify the most effective way to ensure those convictions no longer appear on a person’s criminal record.
Commenting John Nicolson MP said:
“This is a very welcome announcement from the Scottish Government and an historic moment for LGBTI equality in Scotland.
“We have made huge progress towards achieving LGBTI equality in recent years, with improvements in laws and attitudes that have seen Scotland now become the best country in Europe for LGBTI legal rights.
“Despite this welcome and hard-won progress we must never forget the appalling way that LGBTI people have been treated in the UK in our recent past.
“The criminalisation of gay and bisexual men, who were cautioned and convicted under homophobic laws that banned sex between consenting adult men is a blemish on our history and it is right that we now address this injustice with a full and automatic pardon, and a system that allows people to have these discriminatory convictions removed from their records.
”While there is still more to do before LGBTI people will have full equality, this is an important step towards the fair and equal Scotland we all want to see.”
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, is encouraging young people in Midlothian and East Lothian to stand in the upcoming Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) elections. Being part of SYP gives young people the opportunity to represent the views of other young people in their area, and advocate for the issues that matter to them.
Mr Beattie said:
‘It’s clearer than ever that young people should have the right to participate in our democracy. Their futures are dependent on the choices made in our governing bodies.
‘I therefore strongly encourage any young person who is keen to represent their generation to stand for the Scottish Parliament.
‘Not only will they have the opportunity to participate democratically, they’ll also gain valuable experience and life skills that can’t be easily gained elsewhere.’
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, today submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament congratulating Dalkeith and District Citizens’ Advice Bureau on reaching its 50th anniversary.
Based at Buccleuch Street, the Bureau first opened on 26th August 1966 and is one of the 61 member bureaux in Scotland. The staff provide expert advice to local constituents on a wide range of issues, helping solve a variety of problems.
Mr Beattie attended the 50th Anniversary celebrations that took place at the Dalkeith Corn Exchange last month. Today he wrote to the manager, Susan Bowes, thanking her and the staff for their work and the staff who have served the community over the past 50 years.
Today Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, welcomed assurances from the Minister for Transport and the Islands that progress was being made in improving Sheriffhall Roundabout.
Following a recent meeting with the Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, Mr Yousaf wrote to Mr Beattie to confirm that junction improvement options are expected to be presented to the public for comment later this year. Mr Yousaf also confirmed in his letter that the options assessment process will be completed by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.
Mr Beattie said:
‘I warmly welcome this news – we can now begin to see light at the end of the tunnel.
‘The process of improving Sheriffhall Roundabout has been protracted through circumstance. I’m sure I’m not alone in being frustrated at these delays.
‘However, when I met with the Minister he assured me that plans are moving forward and that we can expect to see substantial progress over the next few months.
‘I look forward to seeing the junction improvement options for grade separation when they’re made available to the public, and I hope all constituents have the opportunity to make their opinions known to the Scottish Government.’