SUPPORTERS of Gender Recognition Reform drowned out a Scottish Family Party counter-protest by chanting “trans joy” and blocking their placards with LGBT+ flags.

Campaigners gathered outside of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday afternoon to hear speeches from trans people impacted by the legislation and MSPs from the SNP, Scottish Greens, and Scottish Labour.

A large crowd had gathered under the shadow of St Arthur’s seat on the grass area outside of the Holyrood building, where speakers took to a temporary stage.

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It came ahead of MSPs debating the legislation to reform the process that transgender people use to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate and make it simpler.

But as campaigners heard speeches from those impacted, four members of the Scottish Family Party stood just outside of the gathering holding placards that promoted anti-trans views.

The right-wing fringe party is anti-abortion, and a small group has made appearances at most pro-transgender reform events outside of the Scottish Parliament.

A number of LGBT+ campaigners who were attending the event spoke to the counter-protesters and used a variety of flags and placards to block out their message.

Six campaigners held up a large non-binary flag to block the counter-protest from the view of the event where LGBT+ activists were celebrating the legislation finally making it to the Parliament.

Scottish Family Party members argued with protesters over their presence on the fringes of the event, with one heard saying: “We’re just expressing our feelings”.

One pro-GRA campaigner countered: “That’s my point, I just feel like your very presence here is unnecessary. It’s nasty, it’s malicious and it’s just against humanity.”

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The Scottish Family Party member, wearing a khaki jacket and a black hat, then claimed LGBT+ campaigners were being “intolerant”.

Another campaigner, who had been holding a placard that read “Queers vs Fear”, jumped in and said: “By holding up the sign you are being intolerant, that’s the whole point of what you’re doing. You’re holding up a sign that is against everyone’s existence and identity.”

Two police officers were spotted in the vicinity of the row, but the protests dissipated after the event ended.

Previously, the Scottish Family Party was branded “disgraceful” after bombarding abortion rights activists with an “appalling” meme comparing abortion to the Holocaust.

The National: Campaigners blocked the counter-protest with LGBT flags and bannersCampaigners blocked the counter-protest with LGBT flags and banners (Image: NQ staff)

The reforms would remove the medical requirement and panel process and instead allow trans people to self-identify. They would only have to live in their acquired gender for three months instead of two years before obtaining a GRC, and a declaration would be made in front of a notary public or a justice of the peace.

It would also mean the document would be awarded by the Registrar General instead of a medical panel. The age for applying for a GRC would be lowered from 18 to 16.

The bill is expected to easily pass its first stage as it has support from the SNP, whose MSPs will be whipped to support the legislation, the Scottish Greens, Scottish Labour, and the Scottish LibDems, who all had manifesto commitments to reforms.