Scotland’s prosecution service has had its impartiality called into question following the revelation that it has signed up to Stonewall’s “diversity champion” register.
The Crown Office, which is funded by taxpayers, pays almost £1,800 a year to Stonewall Scotland to call itself a “diversity champion”, and use the group’s logo on stationery.
Christian group CARE for Scotland (Christian Action Research and Education) has raised concerns about the Crown Office’s link with Stonewall in light of a fine handed out to a Christian preacher in Glasgow in March.
Shawn Holes was arrested by police after answering a question about homosexuality, and then fined after he pleaded guilty.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, of CARE for Scotland, said “Some groups are clearly being listened to more than others – but prosecutors must be seen to be impartial.”
“At a time when we are looking for ways to cut public sector spending, there should be an urgent review of the Crown’s membership of Stonewall’s ‘diversity champion’ scheme.”
The Crown Office, which as well as prosecuting crimes also investigates complaints against the police, pays £1,760 a year to Stonewall Scotland for the status.
A Crown Office spokesman said being a “diversity champion” gave it access to “good practice seminars on a range of topics and to the latest thinking, knowledge and advice on specific organisational initiatives”.
There has been criticism of the relationship between Scottish police and homosexual groups in the past year with a number of cases prompting concern among Christians.
In August Tory MSP Jamie McGrigor questioned the priorities of the police after a gathering was held at the headquarters of Central Scotland Police which was billed as “an opportunity for transgender people from across Scotland to meet each other”.
Mr McGrigor said: “It is important that the police are seen to be open to all groups in society but was it necessary to go to such lengths in this case, bearing in mind that times are so hard at the moment?”
In July Strathclyde Police praised organisers of a taxpayer-funded gay art exhibition featuring pornographic images for helping to promote respect for homosexuals.
The exhibition, at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, was criticised by church leaders and family campaigners. But police diversity officers said the show did them a favour by raising awareness of gay issues.
And in June it was revealed that Scottish police officers could miss out on career advancement if they failed to meet ‘gay and transsexual rights’ standards.
It emerged that police staff from across Scotland will undergo a review to measure their performance regarding ‘diversity’ issues following the Association of Chief Police Officers’ ‘equality and diversity’ strategy.