Ordinary Scots feel "disenfranchised" from the discussion around planned reforms to gender recognition law, Kate Forbes has said. 

The Finance Secretary revealed she is disappointed with the way the public discussion around the government's plans to allow transgender people to change their legal gender more easily. 

Forbes was one of a number of MSPs who raised concerns about the reform of the Gender Recognition Act while she was a junior minister in 2019. 

She told Holyrood Magazine she had hoped the public discussion around the issue would have become "more intelligent and informed and fair".

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But it has led to "more fear, entrenchment, and vitriol", said the SNP cabinet member.

Fores said: "My view remains the same, which is that we need to ensure we are listening to all voices. I know there are lots of very polarised views on the issue.

"One view is that the Gender Recognition Act has almost become the symbol for a much wider discussion and debate. Secondly, there’s more fear, entrenchment, and vitriol even in the last two or three years than there was back in 2019."

Members of the public felt "shut out" of the debate - which Forbes warned could risk to the government creating bad legislation. 

She said: "I’m not sure we’ve managed to achieve what I hoped we might, which was a more intelligent and informed and fair discussion that allowed people to express their views without being shut down.

"This is an issue that’s bigger than a political bubble. It’s an issue that mums and dads ask me about in relation to their children or their schools.

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"I think a lot of people feel disenfranchised from the discussion and that does not lend itself to making good law.”

The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP, a member of the Free Church of Scotland, said greater tolerance was needed in the debate. 

Forbes said: "Tolerance can only exist between people who fundamentally disagree with each other.

"To preach tolerance means you must be willing to speak to and be open to the views you do not share.

"Tolerance cannot exist when everyone agrees, so if anyone cares about tolerance in the Scotland of 2022, then we need to be more comfortable debating and discussing challenging issues with people who fundamentally disagree with us.”