CAMPAIGNERS have called for a former leader of the SNP to apologise after he compared the Scottish Government’s support for gay marriage to “state fascism”.
Gordon Wilson, who led the party from 1979 to 1990, also branded the Scottish Government’s consultation on same-sex marriage a “fraud” and warned MSPs not to “scorn” the electorate in a free vote on the issue.
He is due to address a Scotland For Marriage fringe event this Thursday at the SNP conference in Perth. He will say: “The consultation process was a fraud. What is the point of canvassing the views of the electorate and then cynically discarding them?
“If you think we are sliding down a road to state fascism and intolerance, you may not be far wrong. Be warned, those MSPs of all parties on a narrow majority who exercise their ‘free’ vote for same sex marriage.
“They may find that a free vote has as much validity as a ‘free’ lunch. If they ignore public opinion, a P45 may await. Do not scorn the electorate.”
The Scottish Government announced in July it proposed to bring in legislation which would allow same-sex couples to marry, though many churches and religious leaders oppose the plan.
Tom French, of campaign group the Equality Network, said: “The opponents of LGBT equality have sunk to a new low by comparing equal marriage supporters to fascists and Nazis.
“The fascist regimes of the 20th century persecuted, tortured and murdered LGBT people. In contrast, the Scottish Government are promoting equality and religious freedom for all.
“No religious body will be required to conduct same-sex marriages, but those that want to will now have the freedom to do so. This is a fair compromise that is supported by over two-thirds of people in Scotland.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government is committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships.”