MSPs from all parties gathered outside the Scottish Parliament today to support a campaign for equality for LGBTI and ethnic minorities.
The support is part of the Scottish Government’s ‘One Scotland’ Campaign which was launched during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Cabinet Secretary for Equalities Shona Robison joined a number of MSPs from all parties outside the Scottish Parliament for the unveiling of a new ‘Equals’ sculpture by award-winning Edinburgh artist Kate Ive.
Ms Robison said: “Scotland believes in equality and the One Scotland campaign emphasises that we are all equal and that the same rights and opportunities should apply to all.
“No one should have to face discrimination or prejudice in any form, and nine out of ten Scots believe there is still work to be done to make equality for all a reality.
“Progress has been mixed in recent years and there is a pressing need to continue education and engagement that promotes a welcoming, inclusive society where everyone – regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity – has a place.”
The five week long campaign – featuring press and radio ads, PR and social media activity – follows the recent announcement that the first same-sex marriage ceremonies in Scotland are expected to take place from Hogmanay.
From 16 December, same-sex couples will also be able to change an existing Scottish civil partnership to a marriage.
The campaign also seeks to improve public awareness of intersex people and will highlight that the Scottish Government has now adopted the acronym LGBTI to demonstrate its commitment to equality for intersex people.
Recent YouGov research commissioned by the Scottish Government found three-quarters (76 per cent) of Scots agree Scotland has made great progress towards equality over the past 10 years.
However, 89 per cent of people surveyed also believe more work needs to be done to ensure people are treated equally.
New analysis of the 2011 census revealed that Scotland has become a more ethnically diverse country in the last decade.
Scotland’s minority ethnic population doubled, from two to four per cent of the total population (from around 102,000 to 211,000 people) and white non-British groups increased from 3 to 4 per cent of the population (127,000 to 222,000 people).