RONA Mackay MSP has spoken out in solidarity with the international LGBTI+ community in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
During topical questions at 2pm on Tuesday, June 14, the Strathkelvin and Bearsden member asked the Scottish Government about its readiness to protect LGBTI events in Scotland.
It was in the aftermath of the mass shooting inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the United States on Sunday, June 12, where 49 people shot dead.
Ms Mackay said in the chamber: “To ask the Scottish Government what preparedness it has engaged in, in light of the outrage in Orlando for pride marches and other LGBTI events in Scotland?”
The First Minister replied: “Obviously, police will continue to make their own assessment and own preparations to ensure that pride marches can happen, and happen safely, and happen in a way so that all those attending them can do so and enjoy the occasions, uplifting and joyous as they are intended to be. The Scottish Government will continue to be in close liaison with the police in all of these matters.
“We will see a number of people taking part in pride marches in Scotland and indeed elsewhere in coming weeks. Perhaps something all of us can do to remember and pay respect to those who died in Orlando, but also to show in very real terms the solidarity with the LGBTI community, is to turn up and take part in a pride march somewhere in Scotland. And if all of us do that it will be a very visible representation of all in this parliament standing shoulder by shoulder.”
Ms Mackay added: “I was very pleased to ask the question in the Scottish Parliament at Topical Questions. Like the rest of the world, I am utterly disgusted and shocked at this act of terrorism and hatred where so many innocent people were killed in what was meant to be a sanctuary.
“On behalf of my constituency, and the people of Scotland, and indeed the international LGBTI+ community I hope our own pride marches will be both safe and well-attended this year.”
The shooting resulted in 50 deaths, including the gunman who was killed by police after a three-hour standoff, with another 53 injured. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTI+ people in U.S. history, and also the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks.