An Scottish MP has told how she had to call the police after being abused for holding hands with her same-sex partner.
The SNP’s Hannah Bardell, who represents Livingston, was speaking during a backbench business debate in the House of Commons marking 50 years of Pride in the UK.
Bardell, who told MPs that she is an “openly proud lesbian”, spoke of the reality experienced by LGBTQ+ people.
She said: “I am illegal in 71 countries. And in 11 of those countries the death penalty still exists for same-sex consensual activities.”
Conservative MP Kieran Mullan made an intervention during Bardell’s speech.
He told Parliament that her remarks highlighted the “extreme circumstances” that people go through in other countries.
“One of the tests I think we often ask ourselves is: would every gay person in this person on a late night out surrounded by drunk crowds of people feel confident to hold the hand of their partner?,” asked Mullan.
“I’m not sure they would actually. I think even in this country there is a lot we can still do when it comes to issues like that.”
“I absolutely agree with him,” Bardell said in response to the contribution of Mullan.
“You know, I’ve had experiences myself that I’ve had to report to the police just from holding hands with a partner and being abused, you know, in Scotland.
“And that’s the reality that many of us have faced and that we have seen in recent times in the press, members of the LGBTQ+ community being attacked and targeted simply for holding hands with their same-sex partner.”