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Email to CTEEA Committee 20.12.18

Email from the Equality Network to the members of the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee

20th December 2018

Dear member of the CTEEA Committee,

Towards the end of the item on the Census Bill, in today’s CTEEA Committee meeting, the Convener noted that some women’s and LGBTI groups that have submitted evidence on the bill receive Scottish Government funding, and implied that that funding might influence those groups’ evidence.

I would like to make clear that the Equality Network absolutely refutes any suggestion that our funders have any influence our policy positions, our evidence, or our campaign work.

We are, and have been for over 21 years, a fiercely independent organisation. Our policy positions are entirely based on consultation with LGBTI people to find out their needs. We oppose Scottish Government policy when we think they have got it wrong – as members of the Committee know, that includes, but is certainly not limited to, suggesting amendments to legislation where we think it can be improved.

The Scottish Government have never attempted to influence our policy positions. We think that they understand that it is in their interests to hear the genuine views of LGBTI people, whether they like what they hear or not. If a funder ever did try to influence our policy, we would make it clear in no uncertain terms that their funding did not buy them that right. If, as a result, we lost that funding, we would be proud to do so.

With best wishes and all the best for the holidays,

Tim Hopkins