At the weekend, social media content was widely shared that suggested LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall Scotland will lobby to lower the age of consent to 10. We would like to be very clear that at no point have we called for this. These claims are vicious lies and clearly an attempt to smear our organisations.
These accusations appear to stem from a feminist declaration that was written last year by a coalition of more than 200 international feminist organisations working to advance women’s rights. It was not written by LGBT+ organisations explicitly, though ILGA World supported the declaration on its launch. LGBT Youth Scotland is a member of the ILGA World federation, along with more than 1,600 other organisations from over 150 countries and territories. At no point were we asked to sign up to this document and our organisation is not referenced. The connection to LGBT Youth Scotland is therefore tenuous.
Importantly, these allegations have been strongly refuted by ILGA World. Overall, the declaration touches on many subjects, and one of its core aims is to eliminate violence against women and girls, including preventing child abuse. This is therefore a wilful misinterpretation and bad faith reading of the document that serves only to attack the LGBT+ community.
To highlight only the LGBT+ organisations from a long list of connected groups, making assumptions that their aim is to lower the age of consent, is an act of prejudice and discrimination that repeats harmful myths from the past about LGBT+ people being sexual predators.
We are deeply concerned that these words serve to inflame hatred towards lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people, many of whom face prejudice, discrimination and bullying every day. Today we’re sending our solidarity to them, our colleagues at Stonewall Scotland, ILGA World, our staff and volunteers and the many others affected by this attack.
We call for:
LGBT+ young people affected by this issue can access our online support services, including LiveChat until 8pm this evening. Full details here.
- Dr Mhairi Crawford, CEO