I was reading this piece in The Guardian and to be perfectly honest, I really couldn't stop laughing. Tory MP Nick Herbert is using his parliamentary recess time to go and tell the Republicans that they should embrace gay rights.
Nick Herbert will tell the Republicans that a Conservative government would "show leadership" on issues like homophobic abuse in sport and homophobic bullying, although he will not promise new legislation.
"We will also understand where we should give a lead and where there is a need for law," he will say. "Conservatives should never leap to legislate."
However, Liberal Democrat analysis of the voting record of Conservative MPs standing for re-election next year, including the Shadow Cabinet, has revealed the gulf between Nick Herbert’s words and his party’s actions when it comes to gay rights.
The voting records of current Conservative MPs who are standing again next year show that:
- One in six, voted in favour of Section 28 in 1988. A sixth voted against its repeal in 2003 including David Cameron and a third of the Shadow Cabinet
- One in ten voted against dropping 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 aimed to reduce the age at which anal sex was legal from 18 to 16
- One in three voted to allow only heterosexual, married couples to adopt in 2002 including seven members of the 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 thirty-three, or a third of frontbenchers and four of the Shadow Cabinet
- The Conservative Party opposed The Equality Bill 2008-09. Nineteen members of the Shadow Cabinet joined attempts to block the bill which will introduce a single 'public duty' requiring all publicly-funded bodies to pro-actively promote equality across the board and remove barriers to fair service provision
He will then go onto praise David Cameron for the way he has changed the Conservative party by making it more open to gay people and supportive of gay rights.
I have blogged on this topic before - Gay friendly Tories are just wolves in sheep's clothing.