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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Gay friendly Tories are just wolves in sheep's clothing

We all know that with this being election year lots of groups are being targeted by political parties, well the Tories are trying to court the pink vote, or LGBT voters.

Well now the "shameful" Tory record on voting for gay rights issues is clear for all to see, and they aren't quite as gay friendly as you may think!

A quarter of David Cameron's shadow cabinet have previously voted against gay rights legislation in the House of Commons.

The research by the Liberal Democrats looked at issues including Section 28, adoption and the age of consent. It lists the voting records of current Tory MPs who will be standing in this year's general election.

One in six current Tory MPs standing for re-election voted in favour of Section 28 back in 1988.

A sixth voted against Section 28's repeal in 2003 including a third of the shadow cabinet. David Cameron, Francis Maude and William Hague were among them.

Yes, that's right, David Cameron voted against the repeal of the most anti gay piece of legislation ever - a complete and utter hypocrite!

One in ten of them voted against reducing the age of consent for gay men from 21 to 18 in 1994.

Almost one in five voted against the Sexual Offences Amendment Bill in 1999 which reduced the age at which anal sex is legal from 18 to 16. Seven of these, including shadow equality minister Theresa May, are in the current Cameron shadow cabinet.

One in three voted to allow only heterosexual married couples to adopt in 2002, including seven members of the current Cameron shadow cabinet.

One in three voted against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in March 2007, which allows the Secretary of State to make regulations defining discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation. This included 33 – a third – of frontbenchers and four members of the shadow cabinet.

Nineteen members of Cameron's shadow cabinet joined an attempt to block the Equality Bill which would introduce a single ‘public duty’ requiring all publicly-funded bodies to proactively promote equality.

Of the 31 shadow cabinet members, ten voted at least once against gay equality. One, the shadow Europe minister, Mark Francois, voted against repealing Section 28, allowing gay couples to adopt and 2007's Sexual Orientation Regulations. He also joined the attempt to block the Equality Bill.

The Tory record on supporting gay rights is nothing short of shameful. David Cameron cannot pretend a quick apology for Section 28 will make up for the entrenched and often bigoted views of his hand-picked frontbench colleagues in the House of Commons.

David Cameron and the Conservatives like to pretend that they have changed but they remain the same old Tories.

Can you imagine what will happen to gay rights if they win the general election later this year?


david scott said...

It should go without saying that a person should be allowed to marry whomever they choose. Until the right-wing, religious fanatics in this country stop trying to control everybody else and force their “morals” down the throat of the country, there can be no real freedom in the United States. Civil rights cannot simply be "voted away," that is the purpose of the Bill of Rights. Religious activists should be left out of these decisions completely. I invite you to my web pages devoted to raising awareness on this puritan attack on our freedom:

IanVisits said...

So what you are saying is that:

5 out of 6 MPs standing for relection didn't vote in favour of Section 28.

84% did not object to the repealing of Section 28, including 2/3rds of the Shadow Cabinet.

Frankly, those figures sound like a representative sample of the population at large.

Is it really surprising that a large political party is going to include people who have a range of opinions on a range of issues and not all of them will be in slavish agreement with each other?

Do we really want a governing party that is made up of a "hive mind" where everyone agrees on everything?

Horrific idea!

Most gay people, myself included are not single issue voters. We look at the wider picture, which will include gay rights, but also the economy, crime, social issues, education, health etc etc etc.

Name me a person who thinks any one party addresses every single issue that concerns them - and I will show you a party activist.

In the real world, the rest of us make an informed choice and balance the equities.

Party A might be less good on social issues, but is better on the economy.

Party B might be very good on health, but lousy on education.

Party C might be utterly contemptible on the economy, but is brilliant at gay rights.

etc, etc, etc.

To try and claim that a person shouldn't vote Tory simply because of one - out of many issues that affects gay people - might be less desirable than you ideally want is to encourage the worrying trend towards single-issue voting.

Of all the parties, the LibDems have the most to lose from such an approach, and although not surprised, I am dismayed that you can be so blind to the wider picture.

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