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June 14, 2011

IconThousands oppose Brian Souter’s knighthood

Over 4500 people have signed a petition opposing the knighthood of  multi-millionaire Brian Souter. The co-founder of Stagecoach achieved notoriety in 2000 after donating £1 million to a Scottish campaign to keep Section 28.

Section 28 – known as Clause 2a in Scotland – was introduced by the Conservative government in 1988. It stated that local authorities should “not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”, and effectively banned the discussion of LGBT issues in schools. It was repealed in Scotland in 2000, and throughout the rest of the UK in 2003.

Souter led the “Keep The Clause” campaign in Scotland. He funded a private referendum on the issue in which 86.8% of respondents said that they wished to keep Clause 28. However, only 31.8% of the nearly four million people who received ballots bothered to return them.

“Brian Souter is so homophobic I imagine he will refuse to bend over to accept his knighthood,” commented comedian Sue Perkins.

The petition was launched by the NUS Scotland LGBT campaign following the announcement of Souter’s knighthood during the Queen’s birthday honour list on Saturday.

The NUS Scotland LGBT Campaign is calling for this knighthood to be retracted in support of the people who suffer from Homophobic or Transphobic bullying and harassment, and to send a clear message to the homophobes that that kind of behaviour is not acceptable,” said a representative for the campaign in a statement posted on Facebook.

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Ruth Pearce

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