A blogger who took former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to court stated it changed into “absurd” to interpret one of his tweets as homophobic.
Stuart Campbell, who runs the blog Wings Over Scotland, issued the MSP for £25,000 after criticizing him in a newspaper column.
The dispute stems from a bit written through Ms. Dugdale in the Daily Record.
Mr. Campbell was regarded because of the first witness inside the defamation case at Edinburgh Sheriff Court docket on Monday.
For stay updates on Monday’s court cases, observe @BBCPhilipSim.
His comments have been published on his Twitter feed on 3 March 2017 as he becomes stay-tweeting about the Scottish Conservative convention.
Pro-Scottish independence campaigner Mr. Campbell wrote: “Oliver Mundell is the form of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality faster.”
Mr. Mundell’s father, Scottish Secretary David Mundell, came out as gay in January 2016.
Ms. Dugdale wrote in her column in 2017 that she becomes “bowled over and appalled” approximately what she described as “homophobic tweets.”
She added that “such feedback is of direction now not unique to the person who tweets as Wings Over Scotland,” saying the account “spouts hatred and homophobia closer to others.”
Ms. Dugdale later called on SNP politicians to “shun” Mr. Campbell all through First Minister’s Questions.
Mr. Campbell, in the end, released criminal action, arguing that whilst his tweets will be “impolite,” he was “in reality not” prejudiced, and announcing Ms. Dugdale had defamed him by suggesting he changed into homophobic.
Ms. Dugdale’s criminal group submitted to the courtroom that the thing becomes a “truthful and sincere remark,” criticizing Mr. Campbell for “giving voice to homophobic sentiments.”
The UK Labour Party previously paid for Ms. Dugdale’s illustration in court; however, it reduces this off in September closing yr.
Equal rights ‘advise.’
Mr. Campbell instructed the court docket that his tweet turned into creating a “statement” that Oliver Mundell turned into “a very, very poor public speaker.”
He said: “I don’t think any intelligent man or woman may want to surely interpret that tweet as being homophobic.”
Mr. Campbell likened it to every other online remark wherein the author wished debatable columnist Katie Hopkins had in no way been born.
The blogger agreed “very tons” with his QC that it turned unacceptable for someone to be mocked on the premise of their sexuality.
He delivered that he turned into a “firm propose of identical rights for gay human beings,” announcing all of us who had studied his Twitter feed or website could discover it “ludicrous” to assume he was homophobic.
While being puzzled via Ms. Dugdale’s legal team, Mr. Campbell said a person would be “dishonest or silly” to assume his tweet become homophobic.
Mr. Campbell then asked if Nicola Sturgeon’s notion was “cheating or stupid” in her reaction to the tweet for the duration of the First Minister’s Questions.
He answered that he did now not accept as true with she made any “particular reference” to his tweet, but if the first minister believed it become homophobic, then she was stupid.
The court docket tested a series of other tweets Mr. Campbell had despatched in the past, managing problems starting from video games to gender self-identity.
He denied any of them had been evidence of homophobia or transphobia.
‘Destroys your credibility.’
Paul Kavanagh, the creator of the seasoned-independence weblog Wee Ginger Dug and director of Stonewall Scotland Colin Macfarlane, had also been referred to as-fastnesses.
Mr. Kavanagh instructed the courtroom he, in my opinion, did no longer think the 2017 Mundell tweet become homophobic and had not visible something on the Wings Over Scotland blog that he was taken into consideration homophobic.
He stated that being referred to as a homophobe for a blogger becomes like being referred to as a racist or a holocaust denier. He delivered that it “destroys your credibility” and makes it hard with a view to “reach no citizens or those who are not sure.”
“It has a totally unfavorable impact,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Macfarlane stated he changed into “dissatisfied” by using Mr. Campbell’s 2017 tweet, saying it becomes “absolutely useless to reference David Mundell’s sexuality” and that it was made the “punchline” of the tweet.
Ms. Dugdale is expected to provide proof on Tuesday, whilst the court heard that David Mundell had invoked the parliamentary privilege and would not be performing.