Ruth Davidson: Reaction to pregnancy shows how far society has come

Scottish Conservative leader said she had received such ‘kindness and goodwill’ (Yui Mok/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Ruth Davidson has said the reaction to her pregnancy shows how far Scotland has come in attitudes towards LGBT+ people.

The Scottish Conservative leader said she had received such “kindness and goodwill” and had been inundated with gifts since announcing her pregnancy in April.

Ms Davidson is expecting her first child with partner Jen Wilson in October after undergoing IVF.

Speaking at a reception hosted by LGBT+ news outlet PinkNews at the Scottish Parliament, Ms Davidson paid tribute to the achievements of Holyrood in furthering LGBT+ rights in areas including gay marriage and the recent passing of a Bill to pardon gay men for historical convictions for homosexuality.

She said: “I’m encouraged that there is genuine cross-party consensus on a whole range of LGBT issues.

“But it does bear repeating just how short this is. I’m not 40 yet and it is in my lifetime that you could be prosecuted for being in a loving same-sex relationship and it is in my lifetime as a politician, which isn’t that long… that we’ve seen these same couples who could have been prosecuted actually being able to marry their partner.

“It is worth mentioning that that’s happened. And if you look at societal change it’s more even than that.”

Ms Davidson added: “I’m standing here as the leader of a political party, as a pregnant lesbian and my office is full of bibs and baby grows and hand-made shawls that people have been sending in by the bucket-load which is lovely.

“I still get the hate mail and I’m sure lots of people do, but it’s vastly outweighed by the kindness and goodwill that we see right across the country.

“So we have come a long way in a pretty short period of time and we should celebrate this.”

Ms Davidson said the rights of transgender people was an area that still needed to be addressed.

She said: “Those of us who are committed to equality need to be committed to trans rights too.

“The level of debate around trans rights is lower than it should be and its lower than people deserve.”

The Tory leader welcomed a Scottish Government consultation on reviewing and reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and said she had received assurances from the UK Government that it would bring forward a consultation this summer.