Sturgeon condemns placards at rally against blocking of gender reforms

Nicola Sturgeon has condemned some placards displayed at a rally protesting against the UK Government’s veto of Scottish legislation to reform the gender recognition process.

Scotland’s First Minister was questioned at a press conference on Monday at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh on the signs at the Rally for Trans Equality in Glasgow on Saturday.

Police Scotland has said it is investigating after reports into a sign at the rally.

SNP MP Kirsten Oswald and her party colleague, MSP Kaukab Stewart, were pictured with the signs in the background calling to “decapitate terfs” – referring to trans exclusionary radical feminists – provoking criticism from Harry Potter author JK Rowling among others.

Gender Recognition Reform Bill
Demonstrators at a trans rights rally outside the UK Government Office at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Questioned on the signs, Ms Sturgeon said she had attended demonstrations where placards were displayed that did not align with her views.

She said: “Certainly, from the images I have seen, I think that was the case at the demonstration on trans rights on Saturday.

“The placards that I have seen in no way – absolutely no way shape or form – accord with my views and I would condemn the way in which those views were expressed and the views that were expressed there.

“And I don’t think it’s fair or credible to suggest that the elected representatives that were there in any way share or condone those views.”

She said she has also seen images about herself from demonstrations against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill outside Holyrood that were “offensive… and completely unacceptable”.

The Scottish Parliament passed the Bill last month, which would make it easier for transgender people to update some documents to reflect their gender and lowering the age at which a trans person can obtain a gender recognition certificate from 18 to 16.

Last week, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack issued a Section 35 order to block the new legislation, saying it would impact the UK-wide Equalities Act, which Ms Sturgeon denies.