Sunday, 11 October 2009

Is it possible to be gay and a Conservative?

Is it possible to be a gay or lesbian Conservative? Of course there are some high profile gay Tories locally, and I bet they would answer 'yes', but I wonder how they really feel about their party's increasing alliance with homophobes and bigots from Eastern Europe: among them a Polish politician on record as having warned that homosexuality threatens nothing less than 'the downfall of civilisation'.

Another answer is that given by the readers of pink.co.uk - in June 39% of them said they'd vote Tory in the next General Election; after recent media reports about the nature of some of David Cameron's strange homophobic bedfellows that's plummeted to just 22%.

Any yet another by an LGBT activist protesting at the Tories' Manchester conference, and reported in yesterday's Observer newspaper: '...it's an oxymoron to be a gay Tory'

Of course the real issue for the LGBT community isn't whether a vote for local Tory boy Simon Radford-Kirby (pictured) is a vote for a government that would rather form alliances with homophobes than pro-Europeans.

No: the real issue is surely whether a Tory government will offer more than a few supportive words for the LGBT community - whether it will introduce concrete policies to end the remaining vestiges of homophobic discrimination.

I keep looking and listening - but I haven't come across a single policy announcement. Sure, Dave C seems like a nice guy, but the sad truth, as his frankly nasty alliance with the Polish Law and Justice Party shows, is that he just doesn't really care about defending the rights of any minorities.

He has a poor voting record on LGBT issues. Only last year voted to deny lesbian couples equal access to IVF fertility treatment. In 2003, he voted to retain Section 28.

Of course, Simon Radford-Kirby was too busy on East Sussex County Council to have a voting record on these issues, but I think it's about time we asked him to put his money where his mouth is on how he will behave if he's elected MP for Brighton Kemptown. Will he introduce, or support, specific legal reforms to end the homophobic discrimination that Gordon Brown is refusing to abolish?

Here's eight specific questions for him: I don't believe he's a reader of this 'blog so I have emailed him directly to ask him - if and when he answers I'll let you know what he says.

If elected, will you:

1. Amend the Equality Bill to protect LGBT people against harassment?

2. Repeal the ban on same-sex civil marriage and on opposite-sex civil partnerships?

3. Cancel Labour's proposal to allow faith schools to teach sex and relationship education in accordance with their own religious ethos, which usually condemns same-sex couples as sinful, immoral, unnatural and inferior?

4. Urge David Cameron to withdraw from the European Parliament alliance with the homophobic Polish Law and Justice Party, Dutch Christian Union and Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party?

5. End the blanket, lifetime prohibition on gay and bisexual men donating blood?

6. Halt the deportation of genuine LGBT asylum seekers to violently homophobic countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, Jamaica, Iran and Uganda?

7. Refuse visas and work permits to Jamaican reggae singers, like Bounty Killer and Buju Banton, who incite the murder of LGBT people?

8. Urge the police and CPS to prosecute record stores and radio stations that promote songs encouraging the killing of LGBTs?

Just to be absolutely clear, if I am elected MP for Brighton Kemptown I will. I wonder if Simon Radford-Kirby can and will make the same commitment?

1 comment:

  1. I understand Simon Kirby replied to your questions over a week ago...but you have not informed your readers of his answers or of your responce.

    ReplyDelete