Alba candidate made claims during online women's conference
Stonewall Scotland has slammed a claim that it is campaigning to lower the age of consent to 10-years old by by a former charity chief executive and Alba party candidate.
Alba, the new party backed by former first minister Alex Salmond, has backed the claim made by Margaret Lynch, an Alba candidate for central Scotland and former chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland.
Lynch made the claim after citing Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland's links to ILGA World, a global LGBT organisation that aims to eliminate laws and policies that punish or criminalise people based on sexuality.
ILGA signed a women’s rights declaration drafted by the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), a New York-based lobbyist for improved healthcare for women.
The declaration’s 36 articles include demands to “end the criminalisation and stigmatisation of adolescents’ sexuality including laws limiting legal capacity of adolescents, people with disabilities or other groups to provide consent to sex.”
This is evidence that the Scottish Government is directly funding organisations who want to lower the age of consent, said Lynch in an online women's conference.
Stonewall Scotland said: “Today a Scottish parliamentary candidate stated that we are campaigning to lower the age of consent. This is categorically untrue.
"Such claims are dangerous and irresponsible and we would urge those making or sharing these claims to stop.”
Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Scottish Greens, said: “The transphobia which has developed in Scotland in recent years, which many political parties and media outlets have either ignored or deliberately cultivated, was always going to broaden out and threaten others.
"The progress toward equality and human rights for LGBT+ people is under direct threat, and while Alex Salmond and his Alba ego-trip bear responsibility, they are by no means alone in that.
"I am far from the only person for whom being out in public life now means a daily torrent of online abuse from both sides of the constitutional divide. But this is also affecting private individuals simply living their lives, and now the globally respected organisations working for our human rights are in the firing line too.
"This dangerous agenda needs to be rejected at the ballot box, but also needs to be challenged and opposed on a daily basis, by everyone who believes in equality and human rights, whatever side of the constitutional debate they are on."
In a statement, an Alba spokesman said: “The organisations referenced have both signed up to this demand, and both have received substantial amounts of government funding.
“These are reputable organisations that make a positive impact on the lives of many in Scotland.
“If the organisations do not support what they have signed up to it is for them to say or provide clarification, it is not for women that attended our women’s conference to defend concerns that women have raised based on fact.”