Scotland is not the best for gays anymore

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 31: A couple of the same sex Joe Schofield (R) and Malcolm Brown from Tullibody, Clackmannanshire are married by Ross Wright, Celebrant from Humanist Society Scotland in the Trades Hall, Glasgow shortly after midnight in front of friends and family in one of the first same-sex and belief category weddings in Scotland on December 31, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Same-sex couples have been able to enter into 'civil partnerships' since 2005, however following a change in the law on February 4, 2014. A couple of the same sex are now eligible to marry in Scotland. Parliament's decision to grant same-sex couples an equal right to marriage has been met with opposition from religious groups. Gay marriage is already legal in England and Wales, however the Northern Ireland administration has no plans to make it law. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Scotland is no longer the most progressive country in Europe on LGBT rights. Rights group ILGA-Europe released an annual ranking of the countries of Europe, assessing their progress on equality for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and intersex people. The ranking was once dominated by the United Kingdom, but the UK has slipped down the list in recent years there are other countries progressing in it. Malta achieved a score of 88.04%, primarily due to its more progressive gender recognition laws and hate crime protections. The UK is third on 75.73%, behind Norway. If ranked separately, Scotland would be separate on 82%. Angela Crawley, SNP candidate for Lanark and Hamilton East, said: “SNP MPs have been calling for the UK government to make reforms to equality law to strengthen LGBTI discrimination protections and rights – but the Tory government has been dragging its heels and refusing to act in key areas for the last seven years. As a result the UK is now falling behind other countries in the rights and protections afforded to LGBTI people. In particular, we need reforms to ensure same-sex couples have equal pension rights, and that all LGBTI people are fully protected from discrimination. The UK government must also follow the lead of the Scottish Government by committing to reform gender recognition laws, in line with international best practice, so that all trans and non-binary people can access their human right to legal gender recognition. We must also ensure we protect the rights we already enjoy by opposing any Tory attempts to scrap the Human Rights Act or withdraw from the ECHR – and by ensuring that Brexit does not result in any loss of LGBTI protections.”

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