The TIE campaign, established in the heat of the referendum campaign by Yes supporters, Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson, has for the last two years been lobbying the government to introduce laws requiring schools to be “proactive in tackling “homophobia, biphobia and transphobia” and to deliver teacher training focussing specifically on LGBTI issues.
Members of SNP Youth had put forward the motion, calling on the Scottish Government to work with TIE campaigners in order “to take the necessary further steps.”
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That, however, was amended after MSPs Jenny Gilruth and Christina Gilruth persuaded delegates to “establish a group to work with TIE” to investigate how to make the “pledge a reality”.
There was some criticism from campaigners who pointed out that the SNP had passed a similar motion at the Spring conference last year, and yet, they suggested, little had changed.
Proposing the motion, Rhiannon Spear told the party faithful: “This time last year I had the honour of moving a motion which committed our party to LGBT inclusive education our party unanimously agreed to work with the TIE campaign and to strive to ensure that every young person in every school in every part of the country learns and grows up in an environment which is inclusive, welcoming and safe."
Spear said SNP Youth would support the amendment from the parliamentarians but only on certain conditions: “This working group must recognise the urgency of the issues that it has been set up to deal with, working to ambitious deadlines to produce real action.”
Speaking in favour of the motion, Gaela Hanlon, a gender-fluid trainee teacher said: “When I spoke at conference last spring we pledged to support the TIE campaign yet here we are again with another resolution. Why? Because nothing has changed. What good is a hall full of delegates in Glasgow getting to their feet and applauding an LGBTI plus person for standing up for their rights if nothing changes?
“Our cheers mean nothing to the kids who are not alive to hear them,” she added.
Hannah Bardell, the Livingston MP, who came out just before she was elected, paid tribute to the campaigners.
“When I was a school I wasn’t brave enough to come out. I was too scared. I was too scared because I grew up at a time when being from a single parent family you were different… the thought of coming out and being gay was just too much to take.”
After members passed the motion, a TIE spokesperson said: “We are delighted that, for the second year in a row, the SNP membership have supported our campaign. This year, they have gone further by calling on the Scottish Government to form a working group with our involvement, in order to realise the five proposals in our campaign pledge - which already has the support of a majority of parliamentarians.