Councillor bids to stop £511 for gay switchboard
A WEST Lothian councillor tried to block £511 being given to a gay and lesbian switchboard as part of a record £4.3 million budget for voluntary organisations.
SNP councillor Eddie Malcolm moved to have the cash withdrawn from the Lothian-wide service at a meeting to agree the council’s record budget, saying there were better uses for the money.
Councillor Malcolm, who was supported by Tory councillor Tom Kerr and Independent councillor Duncan MacLean, was branded "homophobic" for his stance on the issue.
Cllr Malcolm defended the move today, saying that his comments had been twisted by political opponents in a cynical bid to politicise a very serious issue.
He said: "If I was gay I wouldn’t want to be singled out as being gay. It is nothing to do with money.
"If we want gay and lesbian people to be integrated into the community, then why pigeonhole them by having a separate switchboard when there are others which offer the same service to everyone?"
The motion failed and was not supported by other members of the SNP group at the meeting.
West Lothian SNP group leader Peter Johnston said: "Cllr Malcolm was obviously expressing his own view, and not the view of the SNP group."
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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