Members of the Scottish Parliament fell silent to remember those who were massacred in the Orlando gay club shooting.

Minute Silence in Chamber

Scottish ministers held a minute silence yesterday in memory of the Orlando gay nightclub massacre victims before going on to discuss the importance of LGBT+ education in Scottish schools.

Forty nine people were killed by a single shooter in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando over the weekend, in the worst single act of violence against LGBT people this century.

Patrick Harvie, the co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, questioned First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on her plans to tackle homophobia in Scottish schools, after she lent her support to the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which is calling for school staff to be trained in how address LGBTI issues, during this year’s parliamentary election.

He said,

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“There are, sadly, still people – including young people – subjected to the ideology that says certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inherent moral defects.”

“The First Minister has described herself as a huge supporter of the TIE campaign – how long will it be before all schools in Scotland actively promote the equality and dignity of all of their young people, including LGBTI young people?”

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, who has committed to the idea of better LGBT+ education, but failed to put in place a timetable to implement strategies said,

“I don’t want to live in a country, yet alone be First Minister of a country, where any young person has to feel that, somehow, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, they are subject to judgement or made to feel in any way less than any other individual in our society. I have given a commitment to working with the campaign for inclusive education.”

“The Scottish Government will continue to work to ensure that, whether it’s in a school or any other part of our society, the environment for any young people growing up – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – is one in which they feel comfortable.”

Sturgeon also encouraged MSPs to attend Scottish prides in 2016 saying that politicians needed to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the LGBT+ community.