The truth behind the Tories’ pro-gay rhetoric

First published on Progressonline in the Young progressives column

The Tories have been falling over themselves to demonstrate their new ‘pro-gay’ credentials as a symbol that they are no longer the nasty party. But it is on their more recent record that they should be judged.

Many gay people will never forget that Tory Hate made Section 28, but people cannot deny that the rhetoric at least has changed – Cameron will do interviews with Gay Times, Boris will attend Pride. Though their words have altered, the lobby door they walk through has not!

Since he became leader in 2005, David Cameron’s Conservatives have overwhelmingly voted against LGBT equality three out of three times when put to the test:

  • Seventy per cent of Tory MPs voted against ending discrimination in the provision of goods and services for LGBT people
  • All but five Tory MPs voted to wreck the bill on outlawing incitement of homophobic hatred
  • David Cameron led Tory MPs against lesbian fertility rights in parliament just last month.

As its national secretary, I can say with confidence that LGBT Labour is proud of the leadership Gordon Brown has shown on these issue, in stark contrast to Cameron’s Tories.

Brown led Labour MPs in the vote to extend lesbian fertility rights. He delivered equal pension and inheritance rights for civil partnership couples while at the Treasury. And he continues to deliver for LGBT from 10 Downing Street.

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Richard Angell is national chair of Young Labour and national secretary of LGBT Labour

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