Hearts and rainbows are the order of the day as cherubic MEP Alyn Smith sends out his annual Valentine’s Day LGBTI newsletter (available here) covering the past 12 months of news stories from the European Parliament and beyond.
The newsletter, coming just over a year after Scotland’s first same-sex marriage, covers the 2015 ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)-Europe report that named Scotland as the best country in Europe for LGBTI equality, a campaign to release a 22 year old Tunisian man arrested after an intrusive anal exam ‘proved’ his criminal sexuality, and the Parliament’s move to oppose Russia’s ‘Foreign Agents’ law.
The sight of the MEP plummeting through the clouds as part of a charity skydive for LGBT Youth Scotland is just an added bonus.
Alyn, a member of the Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said:
“At this time of year, when love is in the air and the teddybear industry comes into its own, it’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to live in a country where LGBTI people aren’t subjects of state-sanctioned persecution.
“I can go for dinner with my partner and nobody bats an eyelid, while a short plane ride away, men and women are being rounded up by secret police and tortured or murdered simply because of who they love.
“The European Parliament has been very strong on equal rights, which is why I want to make sure my constituents know about all the work MEPs are doing to make sure LGBTI individuals are accorded the same rights and dignity as their heterosexual friends.
“I’ve always been very clear about this. Love is love."