Kezia Dugdale wins legal battle against a homophobic Twitter user

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The former chair of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale has won a defamation battle, after she was sued by a Scottish nationalist blogger Stuart Campbell, whom she accused of sending “homophobic tweets” in one of the newspaper articles she wrote. Sheriff Nigel Ross ruled that “her article is protected under the principle of fair comment” and that there was no need for her to pay any damages. Dugdale had criticized Campbell for a tweet targeting Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell, whose father had publicly come out as gay some time before, writing that he “is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner.” The sheriff affirmed that Campbell “does not hold homophobic beliefs or feelings” and had “demonstrated by his conduct over many years that he supports equality for homosexual people.” The court heard that Campbell has voiced opposition to transgender rights reforms and has repeatedly misgendered trans whistleblower Chelsea Manning, but the sheriff asserted that trans rights should be viewed separately from gay rights. But on the other side of the coin, the article in question “contained the necessary elements for a defence of fair comment” as she “honestly and rationally formed the view that it treated homosexual people as inferior.”

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