Humza Yousaf has become the frontrunner in the SNP leadership race. The Scottish Health Secretary has been quick to present himself as a champion of the LGBT community – in contrast to his nearest rival – and the SNP has lapped it up. In the past, Humza’s support hasn’t always been so forthcoming.
In 2014 Yousaf didn’t turn up for the pivotal vote to legalise gay marriage. He claims this was due to an unavoidable meeting with Pakistan General Consul about a Scot on death row – a meeting he booked 19 days prior, just two days after he was told the date he would need to attend the historic gay marriage vote. Surely unrelated to the fact Glasgow imams, an influential voice within his constituency, opposed the reform.
Humza has just told Times Radio “I couldn’t come on your programme and tell you that I’m able to change what Islam says about gay marriage, or gay sex or what the mainstream Islamic view is, I couldn’t, I would be lying to your viewers if I said, everybody will know what the position on mainstream Islam in that respect is. But the question is, do people use the basis of their faith as legislating? I haven’t done so, I wouldn’t do so because I don’t believe that’s the job of legislators or policymakers.” Effectively claiming he will not promote his faith in office.
Humza has also previously voiced his support for Imran Khan – the populist former Prime Minister of Pakistan who banned gay dating app grindr. It seems his unequivocal LGBT support only extends as far as it’s politically expedient…