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by Louise Wilson
24 February 2023
SNP’s Mhairi Black criticises Kate Forbes over same-sex marriage comments

The deputy leader at Westminster said she was "hurt" by the comments | Alamy

SNP’s Mhairi Black criticises Kate Forbes over same-sex marriage comments

SNP MP Mhairi Black says she has been “hurt” by leadership candidate Kate Forbes' comments on same-sex marriage and that Forbes’ views will have “alienated” voters.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the SNP Westminster deputy leader also hit out at the suggestion Forbes was the subject of a “witch hunt” over her views.

The finance secretary earlier this week said that, had she been an MSP at the time, she would have voted against the 2014 bill which legalised same-sex marriage in Scotland.

Forbes said that according to her religion, marriage was “between a man and a woman” – though she added that if she became First Minister, she would not seek to repeal the law.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn tweeted “love is love” following those comments.

Now Black has said that Forbes’ stance meant she would “choose to allow your religion to try and deny me my basic human rights”.

She said: “If your faith says you cannot drink alcohol, then don’t. If your religion says you cannot enter same sex marriage, then don’t. If your religion does not allow for abortion, then do not have one.

“However, the moment you use your religion to justify voting against me having access to any of the above, then it is you who is showing intolerance.

“What you practice in your own time, and how you subscribe to live your life is your business, but as a lawmaker, if you choose to allow your religion to try and deny me my basic human rights, then you make it my business.”

Black went on to argue it was “utterly fanciful at best and a dangerous conspiracy theory at worst” to suggest Forbes was being persecuted for her views.

She added the comments will have “alienated swathes of the population before she’s even started” and that the party needed a leader with “better judgement, communication, and leadership skills”.

Black has not publicly endorsed any of the leadership contenders.

Meanwhile, SNP MP Joanna Cherry has said party members are “furious” at the treatment of Forbes throughout the contest so far.

Despite the rocky start to her campaign, it was confirmed on Friday that Forbes had received the requisite number of nominations to make it onto the ballot alongside Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan.

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