HUNDREDS of anti-gender reform protesters gathered outside the Scottish Parliament today to call on the UK Government to step in and stop the Gender Recognition Reform Bill (GRR) from becoming law in Scotland.

Members of the Scottish Family Party, Unionist Clubs Scotland, and supporters of the Glasgow Cabbie – a campaigner who has previously expressed scepticism about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines on social media – waved Union and Suffragette flags and held signs which called on the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to resign.

Glasgow Cabbie had organised for coaches to take protesters from his home city to the capital.

Some protesters were also campaigning against the Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood (RSHP) guidance provided to schools by the Scottish Government, which aims to be inclusive of LGBT people.

Niall Fraser of the Scottish Family Party (previously of George Galloway's All for Unity) told The National that the people who had turned out to the protest were part of an “anti-Sturgeon alliance”.

He said: “We’re here to protest Nicola Sturgeon and the GRR Bill specifically. It’s a culmination of things with Nicola Sturgeon, it’s a build-up over the years, but the GRR Bill is the last straw for us.”

When asked what specifically it was about the GRR bill that the protesters took issue with Fraser said: “A man can’t become a woman. Simple.

“They’ve written fantasy and delusion into law, making a mockery of Scottish justice.

The National: An anti-gender reform campaigner holds a sign as LGBT counter protesters sing in the background An anti-gender reform campaigner holds a sign as LGBT counter protesters sing in the background (Image: Ross Hunter)

“Earlier on in the week there was a school in Inverness that was putting out these surveys to kids as young as five-years-old asking them if they were transgender or gay. I think that should be totally left to the parents to discuss that with their kids, it’s not for state interv ention.

“We don’t even want to be putting these ideas in kids brains, especially at a such a tender age.

“I would like to see the GRR Bill killed off, ideally we could do it in Scotland without the UK intervening but that’s not going to happen.

“So, if Alister Jack was to intervene and kill this bill off he would have my absolute support.”

A group of LGBT+ people and allies also staged a counter protest outside Holyrood, singing songs from musicals and attracting the ire of anti-GRR campaigners.

One member of the public shouted at the counter protesters calling them “paedophiles” and “child molesters” before asking a police officer in attendance to arrest them.

'Misinformation and lies' 

Tom, a freelance artist and performer, helped organise the counter protest and said they had turned out to “combat and challenge hate and hate speech”.

He told The National: “These groups here today take great pride in attacking queer and LGBT artists and performers when they don’t agree with something about them.

“They spread a lot of misinformation and lies, which end up in people like myself receiving death threats, having to cancel shows and fearing for their safety.

“They do not want queer or LGBT artists and performers being near anyone, whether it’s kids or adults. They don’t want us to exist or share our stories. It’s homophobia under the guise of safeguarding.

“And the sad thing is that if they put in even a tiny amount of the energy they spend on this into campaigning against the people who are actually the problem, such as the Tory government, the world would be a much better place.”

@scotnational Anti-LGBT protesters were drowned out with a fabulous DISCO outside the Scottish Parliament #fyp #snp #scotland #lgbt ♬ original sound - The National

READ MORE: Douglas Ross says nationalist MSPs should be 'ignored' during FMQs

Comedian Scott Agnew was also part of the counter protest. He said that the anti-GRR sentiment being expressed by protesters was emblematic of where Scotland was in terms of LGBT rights in 2023.

He said: “We’ve got this strange rag-tag group of anti-vaxxers, Christo-fascist religious fundamentalists, anti-abortionists and apparent supporters of women’s rights, all banding together.

“It’s a lot of angry people, who I’m not entirely sure are certain about what it is they’re angry about. But the net result is an increase in hate against LGBT+ people.

“The GRR Bill was passed by MSPs in Parliament with a pretty substantial majority and had cross-party support. And protests like this are just infantile, quite frankly.

“They never got their way so they’re going to stamp their feet. They’re always screaming about independence supporters being divisive. Well, this is the most divisive thing you could possibly do when you actually try to stop the operation of a working parliament.

READ MORE: Scots Gender Recognition Certificate may be 'invalid' in rest of UK

He also condemned the abuse faced by fellow comedian Janey Godley after she advertised the counter protest on social media.

“I’ve been friends with Janey for 20-odd years,” he said. “She’s been a supporter of LGBT people all her days.

“She’s become their pantomime villain, just like Nicola Sturgeon. But to go after someone who is living their last months because they happened to share something on social media is just wrong.”

The UK Government has said that it is “looking closely” at the gender reform legislation passed by a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament last month.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has threatened to make the unprecedented move of denying the bill Royal Assent if it doesn’t fit with UK-wide legislation, despite it being an area of legislation that is devolved to Holyrood.