RUTH Davidson has revealed she has been inundated with baby clothes from well-wishers, describing it as a sign of how far society has come on gay rights.

The Scottish Tory leader, who is expecting her first child with partner Jen Wilson in October, said she still got hate mail, but it was “vastly outweighed by kindness and goodwill”.

But speaking at a PinkNews reception at Holyrood last night, she said there was still a long way to go on the debate around transgender rights and gender recognition.

Ms Davidson said it was important to remember the debt owed to previous generations who “had it much harder than we do now”.

She said: “I’m not 40 yet and it’s in my lifetime that you could be prosecuted for being in a loving, same-sex relationship, and it’s in my lifetime as a politician that we’ve seen these same couples actually being married to their partner.

“If you look at societal change it’s more even than that. I’m standing here as the leader of a political party, as a pregnant lesbian, and my office is full of bibs and baby grows and handmade shawls that people have been sending in by the bucketload, which is lovely.

“I still get the hate mail, and I’m sure lots of people do, but it’s vastly outweighed by the kindness and goodwill that we see right across the country.

“So we have come a long way in a pretty short period of time and we should celebrate this.”

She said Scotland was comfortable for gay politicians, but there were no trans MSP or MPs.

“The level of debate around trans rights is lower than it should be. It’s lower than people deserve. If you plug in transgender rights into the BBC news website, the only two types of story are ‘X country cracks down on trans rights’ or you get articles about bathroom signs.

“My fear is the debate, as it currently stands, somewhat misses the point.”

She said the Scottish Tories had an “open mind” about the SNP Government’s reform of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which covers the legal recognition of gender.

She said the UK government also planned to consult on the 2004 Act over the summer.

“Our challenge is to ensure the legislative changes command widespread public support - we have to take the public with us - and that will only happen if we strike the right balance.

“I hope we can have a thoughtful and sober and fair and sensitive debate, because we owe it to thousands of trans people across the UK to get this one right.”