Religious Fascism (The Repeal of Section 28) – Garry Otton

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This wasn’t Germany in 1935; it was Scotland in 2000 when MSP Wendy Alexander announced repeal of anti-gay law ‘Section 28’ and Christian fundamentalist Brian Souter poured £2m into a ‘Keep the Clause’ campaign backed by a tabloid newspaper, Cardinal Winning of the Catholic Church and a string of influential social conservatives.

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Billboards went up across Scotland vilifying homosexual practices. Intellectuals who leant support were denounced. Newspapers spread warning of ‘cliques’ and rumours of an ‘international conspiracy’. Attempts were made to close LGBT organisations and doors and windows were smashed. Pictures were printed in newspapers illustrating a homosexual’s distinguishing features. Parliament wavered and buckled while a community in crisis was left to defend itself against a rise in verbal abuse, beatings, suicides and murders.

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This is a lesson in history that lends meaning to events today.

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