Rainbow ban risks undermining parliament’s reputation for inclusion

Our parliament must maintain its reputation as an inclusive workplace.

The Scottish Parliament’s hard won reputation for inclusivity risks being undermined by a ban on rainbow and social movement lanyards being worn by employees.

Scottish Greens equalities spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, said she feared the ban on the iconic design being worn by colleagues goes against years of anti discrimination work.

At Scottish Parliament Corporate Body Questions today it was announced that staff employed by the Parliament would no longer be allowed to wear the lanyards or pins and badges that show support for social movements or campaigns.

Ms Chapman said: “This is a disappointing decision that, I think, sends the wrong message to parliament staff and visitors, and particularly to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalised groups.

“Nobody stops being the person they are when they go to work, and wearing different coloured lanyards, such as rainbows, can be a simple gesture of self expression and of an inclusive workplace. Denying that opportunity is a regressive step.

“Our parliamentary staff do a crucial job in ensuring a safe and welcoming atmosphere for visitors, and we should do all we can to make it as positive a place for them to work as possible.

“I hope that we can reconsider this decision and make clear how we will act to ensure that our parliament maintains its reputation as a positive and inclusive workplace.”