Scotland: Openly Gay SNP Councillor in Homophobic Verbal Abuse

SNP Councillor Austin Sheridan [Image: Facebook]

SNP Councillor Austin Sheridan [Image: Facebook]

An openly-gay SNP councillor was verbally abused outside his offices in Glasgow city centre on Friday evening, as a group of Unionists paraded through the city.

Austin Sheridan, an openly-gay SNP Councillor for Baillieston at Glasgow City Council, was called a “poofter” by a Unionist celebrant of the Scottish referendum result, as a number of Unionists shouted “No Surrender” as they walked past Sheridan’s offices at the City Council.

Sheridan spoke to Scottish LGBT newssite, KaleidoScot, yesterday, explaining that two men in particular noticed the Councillor’s ‘Vote Yes’ badge on his jacket, as well as another badge which read: ‘I only kiss boys who vote Yes’.

Sheridan recorded a video of the verbal attack, describing it as “sheer intimidation”. Thankfully, the video led to the attacker’s comeuppance, as Sheridan later announced that the man who verbally abused the young politican was arrested yesterday.

The attack is only one result of the tense atmosphere currently felt in Glasgow, as the city’s George Square came close to all-out rioting yesterday in a sectarian split between nationalists and unionists. Speaking to KaleidoScot, Rob McDowall, Member of the Equality Council in Scotland, said:

“The sad fact is that Glasgow didn’t vote for this, it voted Yes for independence. Homophobia and bigotry isn’t welcome in a modern Scotland and it is each of our responsibilities to tackle it.  We already have very clear legislation in Scotland which is reflected in the seriousness in the offence charged and the sentences imposed on those found guilty of hate crimes”.

About Scott De Buitléir

Scott De Buitléir is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He is founder of EILE Magazine, a digital publication for the Irish LGBT community, and has published several works of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. He lives in Cork with his partner.
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