Kate Forbes believes her faith has seen a “staggering amount of testing.”

SNP candidate Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes, candidate for leadership of the Scottish National Party, has told Laura Kuenssberg that her Christian beliefs have faced “a rather startling level of scrutiny and perhaps backlash from some quarters” as a result of her decision to be open about what she believes.

Kate Forbes, who appeared on Künssberg’s flagship politics show BBC One on Sunday (March 19), was asked if she felt “treated differently as someone with a strong Christian faith” during the SNP leadership contest.

Kate Forbes, who is one of three candidates to run for SNP leader and Scotland’s new First Minister following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation in February, was targeted throughout the competition for her views on same-sex marriage and transgender rights reform, as well as for of her writings criticized on LGBTQ+ and abortion rights.

Within the first 24 hours of her leadership campaign, Forbes sparked controversy by revealing that had she been an MSP at the time, she would not have voted for same-sex marriage.

She has also come under fire for suggesting that conversion therapy – a practice often described as a form of torture – could be a “choice”. She said she would “review carefully” a ban on conversion practices.

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, was quick to condemn her comments, saying: “There is no such thing as an unenforced practice of conversion and there never can be.

“Anyone who argues that people should be able to consent to this form of abuse clearly doesn’t understand the issue.”

Voters ‘deserve to know who they’re voting for’

When asked if she had been treated differently, Forbes replied that “as a Christian, my faith had been examined in much more detail” and suggested that it was due to an approach of “honesty and openness.”

“Voters deserve to know who they’re voting for,” she said, reiterating that that decision “led to more scrutiny than it would have otherwise.”

When Kuenssberg pressed whether Forbes feels “punished” for saying what she believes, Forbes replied, “I think there’s been a pretty amazing level of scrutiny and maybe backlash from some quarters.

“I won’t be the only person who believes in high office,” she continued, before stressing that the UK has a “Muslim Mayor of London” and a “Hindu in 10th place”.

She went on to say that “men of faith have the right to hold high office.”

Forbes was then asked what she would say to a member of the LGBTQ+ community who can’t bring herself to vote for someone who believes their relationship and the way they are living my life is wrong.

She replied: “I would say I make you an honest promise today to govern in a way that works for you, which in no way undermines your rights and does indeed seek to improve your opportunities in Scotland to ensure that Scotland really is this tolerant and pluralistic nation that we all want to see.”

This week’s edition of Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg Also, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden, Shadow Leveling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy and a panel composed of PoliticsJoe’s Oli Dugmore, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts and businessman Brent Hoberman.

Voting for the SNP leadership election closes on March 27.

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https://www.thepinknews.com/2023/03/19/snp-kate-forbes-christian-faith-stunning-level-of-scrutiny/ Kate Forbes believes her faith has seen a “staggering amount of testing.”

Adam Bradshaw

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