Stop homophobic hatred: don’t let the Tories wreck Clause 58

First published on Progressonline in the Young progressives column

The third reading of the Justice and Coroners Bill is set for the Commons on Monday. Clause 58 will re-instate the incitement to homophobia legislation and remove the Lord Waddington amendment that give fanatics a legal protection to their bigotry

The bill will outlaw hate speech that calls for the raping and murder of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, it condemns rap lyrics that inspire violence and cuts off at the source those who encourage bullying of LGB children in our schools. The “incitement” context, like with race and religion, sets the bar very high. The legal threshold for a conviction has only been reached on the rarest of occasions. The public benefit must be strong and the attorney general must sign off on the CPS’ intervention. This will not mean jokes, or that bible quotes will be ruled out of order, but only the words of those who want to see hurt and destruction. (more…)

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! (more…)