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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood on an historic day

    Scottish Parliament

    That's all from Holyrood on 21 February 2017, the day Holyrood made history by voting to set separate Scottish income tax rates and bands for the first time.  

    Have a lovely evening, we're back with the Europe Committee tomorrow morning from 10am.

  2. 'We can, we should and we will commit to doing more'

    Jeane Freeman

    Ms Freeman says she remembers the days when the best you could expect as a Lesbian was that your female friend was not talked about too much.

    The social security minister says we can and should be proud of the role we might have played in progressing equality in Scotland.

    "We can, we should and we will commit to doing more," she says. 

  3. Minister says the government is a strong and persistent advocate for LGBTI equality

    Social Security Minister Jeanne Freeman says the 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey still show that lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people continue to experience discrimination every day.

    It is worse for Trans people she says, citing again the survey.

    The minister says attitudes and fear of difference can start but be stopped with young people.

    Crowds turn out for Pride Edinburgh
    Image caption: Crowds turn out for Pride Edinburgh

    She praises the TIE Campaign.

    Ms Freeman says: "We should be proud to say we are who we are regardless of our sexuality or our gender identity."

    She says the government is a strong and persistent advocate for LGBTI equality.

  4. 'It is important the we continue to recognise LGBT history month'

    Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman
    Image caption: Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman

    Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman says she is privileged to close this debate for the government.

    Ms Freeman says this year's history month has the theme of heritage in recognition of the contribution LGBTI people have made in society.

    The social security minister says equality and human rights matter but they are only real when they are enjoyed by all.

    "It is important the we continue to recognise LGBT history month," she says.

  5. Tory MSP says we must proactively stamp out discrimination

    Tory MSP Ross Thomson
    Image caption: Tory MSP Ross Thomson

    Tory MSP Ross Thomson says sadly there are still too many places in the world where sadly LGBTI rights are not progressing.

    Mr Thomson says it is our duty to shed light on these countries.

    He says the fight for LGBTI equality permits no room for complacency.

    The Tory MSP says we must proactively stamp out discrimination.


    Image caption: TIE

    Many MSPs have praised the efforts of TIME FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION (TIE).

    Here's what they do in their own words: 

    "Since the repeal of Section 28 (Clause 2a in Scotland) sixteen years ago, there is still a culture of silence around LGBTI issues, identities and histories in many schools across the country.

    Our research has found that while 90% of LGBTI people experience homophobia, biphobia and transphobia at school - 97% believe that it would have helped if their school had been LGBTI inclusive.

    ​As such, we believe that the contributions of the LGBTI community to our history, culture and society and the issues affecting LGBTI pupils, should be recognised and taught within all schools.

    ​Our aim is to eradicate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviours among young people by adopting an educational approach; embedding LGBTI topics and issues into school curricula and social teaching.

  7. SNP MSP praises the TIE Campaign, Jordan and Liam

    SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
    Image caption: SNP MSP Christina McKelvie

    SNP MSP Christina McKelvie says she knows many people who have discovered they are gay and have felt alone and isolated.

    Ms McKelvie says movements like the TIE Campaign are very important because they bring clarity to people's lives. 

    The SNP MSP says support groups like LBGT Youth Scotland provide somewhere for young people to belong.

    She praises the TIE Campaign, Jordan and Liam. 

  8. Green MSP tells of his coming out stor

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie says he once worked for a gay men's project in Glasgow.

    Mr Harvie says they used timelines and the earliest was of a cave drawing in 8,000 BC of a same sex couple in an embrace.

    He says Russia saw decriminalistation in 1993, but later there was a backlash of bigotry, homophobia and transphobia deliberately supported by

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Green MSP Patrick Harvie

    The Scottish Green MSP says: "My own coming out story began when Section 28 was introduced and repeal seemed a long, long way away."

    He says it took the Scottish Parliament to repeal Section 28.

    Mr Harvie says how we are judged as people is not just by our best actions but by our worst.

  9. 'It is our duty to change minds wherever we have influence'

    Labour MSP Pauline McNeil
    Image caption: Labour MSP Pauline McNeil

    Labour MSP Pauline McNeil commends Annie Wells for her personal courage in the way she spoke.

    Ms McNeil says "it is our duty to change minds wherever we have influence."

    She says a total of 73 countries have laws against gay sex and there are at least 10 countries where it carries the death penalty.  

    Mr McNeil says there are 40 countries that have "a gay panic clause" which comes about when someone commits a crime against someone who is gay. 

  10. Background LGBT History Month Scotland

    LGBT History Month Scotland 2017
    Image caption: LGBT History Month Scotland 2017

    "LGBT History Month takes place in Scotland every February. "It is an opportunity to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives and culture, and to recognise the significant contribution LGBT people have made to our country and the world at large. It is also an opportunity for learning, discussion and debate around the continued fight for LGBT liberation."Every year we work in partnership with groups and organisations all over Scotland to programme a range of arts, cultural and educational events. 

    "LGBT History Month is for everyone: individuals, community groups, organisations, service providers, LGBT and non-LGBT people alike."We’re here to help you get involved whether you want to run your own event, find out what’s on in your area, or just find out more about LGBT history and culture."LGBT History Month Scotland is co-ordinated by LGBT Youth Scotland."

  11. More powerful personal testimony, this time from Tory MSP Jamie Greene

    Tory MSP Jamie Greene

    Conservative MSP Jamie Greene says he was proud to march with a cornucopia of colour on the Gay Pride marches.

    Mr Green says when he was at school being gay was, and sadly still is, an insult.

    He says LGBT History Month is very personal to him as he recalls being 17 saying if he had had a boyfriend then it would have been against the law.

    Mr Green says of that, he was guilty, and he says there are serious messages behind LGBT History Month.

    He says let us celebrate LGBT History Month but remember that many cannot.

  12. Background: LGBT bullying at 'high rate' in Scotland's schools

    The charity said strong leadership on LGBT bullying was needed from schools and local authorities
    Image caption: The charity said strong leadership on LGBT bullying was needed from schools and local authorities

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils are still experiencing high rates of bullying in schools, according to campaigners.

    LGBT Youth Scotland said the pupils were also not confident about reporting abuse to staff.

    The charity called for strong leadership from schools and local authorities on the bullying.

    The Scottish government said a new anti-bullying strategy had been developed with LGBT organisations.

    Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying at school can have a devastating impact on young people's mental health and cause them to leave education early, according to the charity's research.

    LGBT Youth Scotland said its study went on to show transgender youngsters have a particularly difficult time at school and face even higher levels of bullying than their LGB peers.

  13. 'Scotland is doing well at promoting equality for LGBTI people'

    Ms Wells says she has been supportive of the TIE campaign.

    The Tory MSP says she is pleased to see the Gender Recognition Bill coming to Parliament this year. 

    She commends the work of LGBT groups in Scotland. 

    Ms Wells says this Friday she will show her support for Purple Friday which celebrates equality. 

    "Scotland is doing well at promoting equality for LGBTI people" she says. 

  14. Tory MSP shares moving personal testimony

    Ms Wells says she did not have the environment or support she needed as a child and says she came out at the age of 13 at an all girls Catholic school, only to be told it was only a phase.

    The Tory MSP says inside she did not know what she wanted or who she was.

    She says when she got to 16 years old she left school as it was merging with a boys school.

    Tory MSP Annie Wells
    Image caption: Tory MSP Annie Wells

    Ms Wells says four years later she married the father of my son and entered the darkest years of her life, saying she did not know what to say or do.

    She says things got so bad she sought help to try and come to terms with her sexuality.

    Ms Wells says she finally came out, for the second time, in 1997 age 25 and after family tension could lead the life she should be living.

    The Tory MSP says if the right education had been in place it could have given her the confidence to listen to what she truly wanted and says the issue is intertwinded with mental health.

  15. Background: LGBT Youth Scotland

    LGBT Youth Scotland
    Image caption: LGBT Youth Scotland

    LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland. 

    The charity's mission is to:

    “empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and the wider LGBT community so that they are embraced as full members of the Scottish family at home, school and in every community.”