Dundee SSP

Scottish Socialist Party branches from Dundee

Petition for Same Sex Marriage

Posted by alangdundee on 22nd February 2009

A petition has been launched for the right for Same Sex Marriages.

[blockquote]Petition by Nick Henderson, on behalf of LGBT Network, calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 to allow two persons of the same sex to register a civil marriage and a religious marriage if the relevant religious body consents.[/blockquote]

More information can be found here

European and Scottish political leaders, international marriage equality groups and church leaders all back same sex marriage petition.

West Midlands Labour MEP Michael Cashman today signed the petition in the Scottish Parliament calling for same sex couples to have the right to register a civil marriage, or a religious marriage should the relevant religious institution consents.

His support comes as the petition gathers momentum, attracting support from Scottish Labour MEP Catherine Stihler, London Green MEP Jean Lambert, Scottish Labour MSP George Foulkes, and the leader of the Labour Group in the European Parliament, Glenis Willmott MEP.

Support from across the world has been pouring in, as groups such as Australian Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality Ireland, and the US movement Blue4Equality all back and publicise the campaign.

Equal Marriage Rights, the group set up by Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger, litigants in the High Court same sex marriage case Wilkinson v. Kitzinger, and Peter Tatchell’s OutRage! have also publicised and supported the petition.

The Reverend John Penman, from Christ Church Falkirk, and the Reverend Ruth Innes from St Marks Portobello have added their names to the petition.

The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Marys Episcopal Church in Glasgow said:

This is something which directly affects my ministry. The existence of Civil Partnerships has been a big step forward. They have given a whole new set of images to society of what gay people are like and that has been great.

However, Civil Partnership is not Marriage and that inequality is discrimination. This is important – I’ve had people approach me asking me whether I can do a legal ceremony for them and I’ve had to say that though I’d like to, the law doesn’t allow me to do so. Indeed, the current law specifically forbids people from registering Civil Partnerships in church or using any religious expression in their legal ceremony. What that does, is imply that gay people can never be as holy as straight people. And the ugly consequences of that kind of prejudice are visible in all kinds of places, not least in the suicide statistics of young men.

The LGBT Network will be visiting the LGBT group of St Marys church on Monday and speaking to the LGBT Society of St Andrews University to promote grassroots support of the petition.

To find out the latest on the campaign, keep checking out our website; lgbtnetwork.eu or follow our updates on Twitter; twitter.com/LGBTNetwork

Posted in Campaign, Equality, International, LGBT, Petition | No Comments »

Stagecoach Continues to Bully and Harass Young Gay Couple

Posted by alangdundee on 15th January 2008

On Friday 11th January, Mark Craig and Steven Black, a young gay couple from Old Meldrum in Aberdeenshire had been in Aberdeen visiting Steven’s mum. At around 10:30 they left to catch the last bus back to Old Meldrum. They arrived at Berryden Road bus stop at around 11:00pm and waited. Mark said:

The bus arrived at around 11:30. It pulled in to the bus stop as Steven and I were waiting. The bus doors opened slightly and the driver looked at us then looked around him and closed the doors and drove off leaving us standing on the street in the freezing cold. It was the same driver that tried to kick us off for hugging in the back of the bus last year.

Last October Mark and Steven were on the last Stagecoach bus of the night from Aberdeen to Old Meldrum, when the driver suddenly stopped the bus and demanded they get off. This was supposedly at the behest of a fellow passenger, for sitting with their arm around the other, as many couples do. The driver then forced Mark and Steven to separate before continuing on the journey, leaving them shocked and humiliated.

After hearing about this incident, the Scottish Socialist Party organised a mass email campaign to Stagecoach’s Director of Corporate Communications, Steven Stewart. Hundreds of gay rights activists and ordinary members of the public appalled by this story asked for an apology for illegally discriminating against the couple. Stagecoach ignored all of these requests, and made it clear that they thought the driver had done nothing wrong, and had stood by him 100%; accusing everyone else of not knowing the facts of the case.

With the bus company refusing to apologise for illegally discriminating against the couple and fully backing the driver, ‘hug-in’ protests by same sex couples and friends took place on Stagecoach busses around Scotland, with members of the SSP retracing the same route from Aberdeen to Old Meldrum with Mark and Steven.

Now these two courageous young men need our help and support once more. The Scottish Socialist Party is standing fully behind the couple, as we did last year, because homophobic bullying is totally unacceptable, especially when it is perpetrated by a company with monopolies on many of the bus routes in Britain. We ask that the LGBT community and straight allies alike to stand with us and Mark and Steven in opposition to this continued bullying and harassment.

Please contact Steven Stewart, the Director of Corporate Communications at Stagecoach
(Steven.Stewart@stagecoachgroup.com, Tel: 01738 642040 or fax: 01738 443076) to demand that this clearly anti-gay bus driver be suspended from his job pending review and diversity training, and for a full and immediate public apology to be issued to Mark Craig and Steven Black for the appalling way in which they are being treated.

This harassment and bullying by a multi million pound company against one, young, gay couple is utterly disgusting and totally illegal. Nobody should suffer it, which is why we are asking everybody to demand an end to it.

Posted in Campaign, Equality, LGBT, Scotland | 3 Comments »

Stagecoach Hug in a Great Success!

Posted by hendersonn2704 on 16th November 2007

The protest went very well. We met with Steven and Mark, the couple originally victimised by Stagecoach. They’re great guys, but they’ve unfortunately have had to put up with a lot of nonsense because of this. The Daily Mail printed nonsense about what they had been doing on the bus, which has caused problems for their families.After taking a few photos outside their bar and Old Meldrum bus stop with the red flag and the rainbow flag, the four of us got back on the 305 to Aberdeen with our arms around each other, the pride flag draped over the seat and Steven and Mark even in the same seat, without incident.

When we got back to Aberdeen bus station, we had a chat with some Stagecoach bus drivers about what we were doing and why. They agreed that its shocking that the couple were spoken to as they were by the driver. The Stagecoach employees agreed that a gay person has just as much right to ride the bus as anyone else, and said that their company should apologise to the couple.

Around the country there was a similar picture from Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow. One can only assume that since no one complained, and the drivers didn’t say anything either, that the driver Steven and Mark were unfortunate to have was homophobic, and of course Stagecoach is 100% behind him.

Theres a great article on protest from http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6064.html and there are photos from the Aberdeen protest on http://www.flickr.com/photos/20902609@N05/ more from around the country will be going up as I get them in.

Posted in Campaign, Demo, Equality, LGBT, Scotland | No Comments »

Equality Ride Initial Report

Posted by alangdundee on 15th November 2007

Pink News have carried a report of the action today. More to follow from Nick on the events of the day

Posted in Campaign, Demo, LGBT, Scotland | No Comments »

Stagecoach Equality Ride Thursday

Posted by hendersonn2704 on 9th November 2007

This thursday, the 15th of november, we are going to have an Equality Ride on stagecoach busses around the country to protest the incident where a Stagecoach driver threatend to boot a gay couple, Steven Black and Mark Craig, off a bus in Aberdeen.

We would like you and another person of the same sex to go on a stagecoach bus that day, and one of you have your arm around the other, just like the couple were doing when they were threatend to be booted off the bus, then made to sit apart. Even just one stop would be fine. We want as many people as possible to do it so please let me know how many of you are taking part in the Equality Ride, i.e. more than one couple, what the bus route is and the bus number, and where you are in the UK, and if possible take a picture of the two of you on the stagecoach bus with you arm around the other person. It would be even better if you were holding a bit of paper or something with the word ‘apologise’ or ‘let all couples take the bus’ or something. And we will send it off to the media and to Stagecoach.

Then either text (07760308173) or email me the image (hendersonn2704@hotmail.com).

Some of us are going to Aberdeen where we will retrace the route with the couple, Steven and Mark, where the incident originally took place. If you are free to travel to Aberdeen that day or are there already then please let me know.

Remember that if someone does complain, and the driver threatens you, then that constitutes discrimination under the Equality Act and is illegal. Nor is it innapropriate behaviour, straight couples do far worse on busses all the time.

Please take a ride for Equality this thursday by participating. The media attention we will get and the extra pressure it will put on Stagecoach to apologise will outweigh the downside of having to give money to Stagecoach to protest, but this is about the right of all customers to be able to ride the bus without hassle or intimidation.

Posted in Campaign, Demo, Equality, LGBT, Scotland | No Comments »

Stagecoach in Homophobic Incident

Posted by alangdundee on 8th November 2007

The Sunday Mail first carried this story about an incident on a bus owned by Scotlands richest homophobe, Brian Soutar.

Pinknews reported yesterday that a young gay couple in Aberdeenshire were told by the driver to leave the bus, then made to sit apart after a passenger complained about one of them having his arm around the other. (http://www.queerty.com/news/happy-endings-upgrade-to-marriage-20071106)

You can register a complaint with Mr Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications, Stagecoach Scotland at this address:

Steven.Stewart@stagecoachgroup.com, you can also call him at 01738 642040 or fax him on 01738 443076

Robert Andrew, Regional Director, Stagecoach Scotland can be contacted at:
Tel: 01383 511911, Fax: 01383 516450

A sample email follows:

I am writing in regards to the case of Steven Black and Mark Craig, a young couple who were sitting beside each other on a Stagecoach bus in Aberdeenshire on a route from Aberdeen to Oldmeldrum recently. The gay couple were at first told to get off the bus by the driver, and then forced to sit on separate seats.

I am aware that according to your own internal investigations that you are 100% satisified that the driver acted in a professional manner at all times.

I, however, am not at all satisifed with either the incident or your own response to it. I request that Stagecoch makes a full and immediate public apology on the matter to both the couple concerned at the LGBT community in general. It is totally unnacceptable that anyone should fear being thrown off a bus because of who they are.

I await your reply.

Yours sincerely

Posted in Campaign, LGBT, Scotland | 1 Comment »


Promoted by Kevin McVey on behalf of the Scottish Socialist Party, Suite 370, 4th Floor Central Chambers 93 Hope St, Glasgow G2 6LD.