On April 20th, Chris Grayling, Tory shadow Home Secretary, finally apologised for his ‘off the record’ comments about the gay B&B affair in which it was reported he supported the Christian B&B owners’ (illegal) decision to turn away a gay couple. This is nothing more than a reluctant u-turn in my view, solely done in an attempt to not only bring himself back in favour with Cameron, but under intense pressure from within his own party.
IN the ‘Independent’ (21.04.10), Grayling is reported as ’apologising for the first time for expressing sympathy…’ with the B&B owners who decided to ignore the law (Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007). He is reported as saying that ‘I certainly regret causing confusion’. Just what confusion is he referring to? As an MP he is duty bound to uphold the law of the land and further more, if he where to become the Home Secretary, he is even more duty bound to ensure that the law of the land is properly followed. Where is the confusion Mr Grayling? You either support thise law breaking, homophobic bigots or you don’t! Please tell us where you stand so we can understand your position!
He then continues by saying that he ‘…was talking about the debates of some years ago’. Now I am even more confused, as in the same interview (which was on the Politics Show, BBC1) he said that he was ‘…supporting gay rights and would continue to do so’. How can you support the rights of LGBT people Mr Grayling when you are reported as supporting the actions of this couple who own the B&B and it has taken you this long to apologise? If you where, as you state, supportive of gay rights, you would have done something the day this news hit the press, not sit back and wait until public and party pressure forces your hand.
Cameron’s obvious inability to control his own front bench and his lack of action in addressing this issue speaks volumes! David Cameron stated that they (the Tory party) would ‘consider same sex marriage rights’. Consider? Excuse me, but is this supposed to be enough to tempt wavering gay voters to your party? Is this the best you can do? I would suggest you look at the LibDem and Labour party (first time I have plugged them in this blog ever) and read what both parties have outlined, take a look at the active LGBT sections within not only these two parties, but your own party. Tory gay voters must be really wondering why you where sitting back doing nothing about what perhaps you mistakenly decided was a non-issue.
Grayling continued by saying that ‘…there are many people in the Labour and Liberal Democrats who did not vote for the current law’.
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG and LIES.
Here are the Hansard voting figures for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 for the LibDems and the Labour MP’s:
||248 (+2 tell)
Now, can you tell me where these many people are? I count 14, yes only 14, of those who voted that said No to the legislation.
That means 277 LibDem and Labour MP’s said Yes to the Bill.
Now we come to your party voting figures Mr Grayling.
||83 (+2 tell)
Hmmmm. This says a lot does it not?
I would suggest that you go away and research your figures before coming out with such outlandish diatribe which with the help of Hansard and Google can be dispelled in about 45 seconds.
Back to Grayling and his now pathetic attempt to get gay voters supporting the Tory party, he said that he had ‘…supported gay right and will continue to do so’.
If this is the case My Grayling, why did it take 400 protesters assembling outside Conservative Central Office and a series of meetings with your leader and other shadow front benchers before you had the gumption to come out and apologise for your off the record comments?
In my opinion, there is no reason why any gay voter, or come to mention it, anyone with a social conscience who supports equality and the fair treatment of all people in our society, should consider voting Tory in this or any election (local or general). Remember, it was Thatchers government who introduced Section 28. Of the Tory MP’s who voted for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 bill, 74% where opposed to it.
Go back to 1999 and look at the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill which in essence was to reduce the age of consent to 16 and see how many Tory MP’s voted in favour. 7 said Aye in the vote. 104 said NO. 94% voted against this bill.
Need I go on? The Tory party is one with a proven track record of not supporting LGBT rights in any manner nor form. I do not care how pink and fluffy Cameron is. His party is by virtue of history a party which is opposed to any form of equality and freedoms which go against their so-called moral beliefs. Cameron is unable to give any positive supporting statement in the area of LGBT rights and reforms.