Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross would have voted against same-sex marriage if he’d been an MSP

Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross

If he had been an MSP at the time, Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross would have voted against same-sex marriage, it has been revealed.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Scotland in 2014, when Ross was in the early stages of his political career on Moray council.

According to the Daily Record, in an unearthed article from the Northern Scot newspaper, local figures were interviewed about the historic victory for LGBT+ rights.

The newspaper reported that “the Conservative councillor said he would personally have voted against the bill”, and Ross was quoted as saying: “If we are to recognise the momentous achievement, we should also recognise the hundreds of thousands of people who oppose this legislation.”

He added: “We need to recognise both sides of the argument, and both put their arguments across very well.”

Douglas Ross insisted he now ‘fully supports’ same-sex marriage

At a debate on Tuesday night (27 April), ahead of the 6 May Scottish election, Douglas Ross was grilled on his views about same-sex marriage.

According to The Herald, host Krishnan Guru-Murthy pointed out that former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said she cried “deep sobbing tears” of relief when Holyrood legalised marriage equality, and asked Ross: “Were you against equal marriage in 2014?”

Douglas Ross responded: “I’ve said, in a debate in Moray council chamber, that there was a passionate engaged debate on both sides and I was balancing both sides of the argument because many constituents had contacted me about it.

“I said at the time I would have voted against it, just like two of Nicola Sturgeon’s government ministers voted against it.

“I have also said that I fully support it. I think marriage is a thing of beauty both for men and women and people of same sex and it’s something we should support.”

But Labour leader Anas Sarwar cut in, and referencing Ross’ previous “hateful” remarks about traveller communities in Scotland, he said: “The cuddly Tories under Ruth Davidson are well and truly gone.

“There’s a reason why Ruth Davidson has walked away – because we’ve got Boris, we’ve got Brexit, we’ve got chaos, we’ve got division.

“Not only is Douglas talking about same-sex marriage, he’s already had to apologise for hateful views against other minority communities in Scotland.

“We’re back to the same old Tories and frankly we deserve better.”