I AM hugely disappointed with Stephen Paton’s ultimatum to the SNP (SNP’s last chance to regain credibility with the LGBT community, Nov 22).

In answer to repeated calls for antagonists to cease internal and personal attacks – which never solve any of the challenges of the issue at hand and serve only to threaten the survival of another hugely important community: the indy movement – Stephen Paton’s response is not only to attack the right of a QC/MP to draw the public’s attention to her fears about the specific wording within potential legislation, but also to give Scotland’s largest party an ultimatum!

To choose Joanna Cherry’s comment on Twitter (a medium designed for very limited comment) and to ignore her extensive piece in The National of November 19 is, to this reader’s view, verging on lazy journalism, as she clarified then that “I support equal rights for trans people” and “I oppose conversion therapy as conventionally understood.” But that doesn’t fit the narrative pursued by Stephen.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: Why I stand against conversion therapy in all its guises

Much better to ignore the concerns of a supposed “enemy” than to give consideration to a legal mind wishing to discuss a possibly unforeseen implication of proposed legislation which may severely limit the opportunity for a child who wants to talk to someone about an issue that may have profound influence on his or her entire future.

I know am not alone in being absolutely sick and tired of the constant public bickering and an apparent inability to accept that as human beings we all hold differing views, but in order to live peacefully we must develop the ability to try and understand the reasons behind the other person’s stance and somehow work out a way of coming together, often by some sort of compromise. None of us can go through life only winning our own version of a discourse.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: This is why I have real concerns around conversion therapy legislation

As for the ultimatum, I object to the public threat to my party. It is a democratic party and if the majority of members support such an action they can make that clear through its ultimate authority, annual conference. If any party leader succumbed to such a public threat by what I believe to be a small minority of its members then that would bring into question its pillar of democracy, thus ensuring its own death. That is not to say that minority groups are to be ignored – but that they must be dealt with in a democratic process and not by public threat of “sack her or we go.”

It’s time to put the toys back in the pram and behave as adults.

Angus J Stewart
South Queensferry

ONCE again Stephen Paton gives us their opinion on transgender issues and even gives an ultimatum to the SNP government to tackle transphobia.

This for me is the nub of the matter: what is transphobia? As far as Stephen is concerned, if you don’t believe a man can be a woman or a woman a man then you are transphobic.

I am not transphobic – anyone can live as any gender they wish, dress as they wish etc, but to tell especially a teenager they can be a different sex is just not true and could condemn a young person to chemical and surgical interventions which may or may not help them.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry should lose whip amid conversion therapy row, SNP groups say

Conversion therapy of course is condemned, but what about support or to help people to accept their birth sex and be supported to live in whatever way you wish without taking away the rights of any other group especially safe spaces which have be long fought for by many women and which are essential?

Joanna Cherry does not support “conversion” therapy as she herself has said, and to say she does is to deliberately wrongly interpret what she says.

I am sorry to say that for Stephen Paton it is their way or the highway, with no room at all for any other belief or any acknowledgement of the problems chemical or surgical interventions may bring about.

I believe that many of the “phobias” being thrown at those of us who dare to speak out are more about phobias towards women, lesbians and homosexuals who are reaching the stage of being cancelled for daring to speak out.

Winifred McCartney

I WROTE to The National supporting Joanna Cherry’s very clear article, and I pleaded with those who took a different view from Joanna to set out their views and concerns so that we could consider them. In the same edition of the paper I see an ultimatum from Stephen Paton to the SNP unless they withdraw the whip from Joanna Cherry.

Well now, that is not a very democratic approach is it? A demand to a democratic political party that they should act unconstitutionally and remove the whip from an MP for no specific reason, other than that the MP “is not critical enough of conversion therapy for transgender people.”

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry’s views on therapy make sense to me, so why all the anger?

I have spent my life working in democratic organisation and I can’t think of any organisation of any democratic principles which would give any consideration to such an ultimatum.

Stephen describes themself as a “writer and activist.” Well it seems to me that as a writer with the opportunity through The National to get their views across they should make an attempt to do this by setting out their views and presenting their case. That would be the democratic way for them to act, rather than to try to bully and threaten people.

Now I have noted what Joanna has had to say and it makes sense to me. It may be that I am not very intelligent, or that I have not got enough information, or there may be something I have missed. Well, Stephen, convince me – I promise to listen. But don’t threaten me Stephen, or threaten those around me and try to bully me. That will not work with me, nor indeed with most of us democrats, we are just not that type of people. So if you have a serious point to make then make that point, use your writing skills to explain it to us, and seek our understanding. We democrats tend to be good listeners. Don’t try and threaten us, we don’t like that.

Andy Anderson