Opinion: Conservatives are complete hypocrites on LGBT issues as Section 28 raises its ugly head again

Do you remember Section 28, Clause 28 or even Section 2A? That awful piece of legislation introduced by the Conservatives back in 1988 prevented the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Thankfully it was repealed in Scotland on 21 June 2000 and then across the rest of the UK on 18 November 2003 – although living in Kent in 2004 was bad enough when the Conservative controlled County Council introduced their own mini-version of Section 28!

To be precise, the Act said; “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

Blimey, still after all of these years just reading this is making my blood boil and reminding me why I really do hate the Conservative Party so much. They caused so many people from the LGBT community to take their own lives, including young people who were still at school who were battling with discovering their own sexuality.

I cannot begin to even think how I would have dealt with that on top of the pressure of coming out, telling your closest friends, your family, worrying about the ridicule at school, college or even work. I was lucky, by 1988, when I was 20, I had come out to my family and friends and on the whole everyone was very accepting. It is funny now to think back and recall just how camp I was then – thankfully that was just a phase I was going through.

Now, you maybe wondering where this blog post is actually going?

Well Lithuania’s national Parliament has amended some of its legislation titled ‘Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information’ in order to ban and even criminalise material that ‘agitates for homosexual or bisexual relations’ or ‘defies family values’ from schools, youth clubs, public places and media likely to be viewed by children.

Homophobia is alive and well in the world we live in and while there are those of us intent on campaigning for better human rights related to sexual orientation discrimination and to stamp out bullying, including homophobic bullying there are always those who won’t vote for these things.

Including David Cameron’s Conservatives.

Firstly, it is absolutely appalling that an EU Member State thinks it is acceptable to introduce such blatant discriminatory legislation that will only exclude the LGBT community further.

Secondly, it is even more appalling that the British Conservative MEPs abstained from this vote.

WARNING – the blood is really boiling now!

How can people in this country trust the Conservatives? How can any gay person vote for them or even worse be a paid up member? How can anyone from the LGBT community trust Cameron or any of his candidates? They don’t practice what they preach.

Like the SNP in Scotland they will say anything to get elected, but they should be judged on their actions and here their actions are clear, they do not support they LGBT community, rather than send Lithuania a clear message that their homophobic attitude will not be tolerated in this day and age the Conservatives decided really to back it, because by abstaining they have sent a message of support. Is this because of their new grouping in the European Parliament? Are they frightened of their new Group throwing them out if they don’t support their extreme views?

Our own MEPs as always were on the button and sponsored the resolution in which the European Parliament voted by a large majority to condemn this new anti-gay legislation introduced in Lithuania. However, the British Conservative MEPs abstained in the vote, showing their sheer hypocrisy on gay issues.

David Cameron really is putting the Con back into Conservatives.

I urge everyone who reads this to email David Cameron on [email protected] and tell him what you think, challenge him to state why yet again his Party is split on gay issues and as we can see here the window dressing is not covering up what they really believe. Tell David Cameron what you think. I have already.

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  • What a useless, obfuscating answer from Letters from a Tory. The whole point of Section 28 was to close down “ideas and information” about homosexuality, because this is seen, in the contorted world that the moral right wing inhabits, as “infecting” young minds and “turning them into homosexuals”. The fact that it is not possible to turn someone into a homosexual – just as much as it is not possible to turn a gay man straight – doesn’t seem to have registered in their tiny, ignorant little minds. The whole point of this type of legislation is to keep people ignorant and not allow any discussion at all. The fact that the Tory MEPs can obstain on this matter, just goes to show how the Conservatives would never have supported any of the legislation on gay rights that Labour brought in in the last twelve years and their whole “makeover” on equality and gay rights is utterly superficial and false.

    A big thank you to Andrew Reeves for pointing this out.

  • Herbert Brown 28th Sep '09 - 10:15am

    “Yet again, this issue comes down to how the word “promote” is interpreted. IMHO, the state is not there to ‘promote’ anything, be it heterosexual or homosexual relationships or indeed anything else.”

    If you could be bothered to acquaint yourself with the facts, you would see that the proposed Lithuanian legislation isn’t confined to what the state does – it would make it illegal for anyone to “promote” homosexuality in any public place.

  • Letters from a Tory – if your logic holds then all you would need is catch all legislation saying that the state should not ‘promote’ anything. Why single out homosexuality??

  • Letters from a Tory, your comments only back up Andrew’s point in illustrating just how little the Conservative party has moved over the last 20 years. The Tory MEPs abstain on this, and yet your leader wonders why Liberal Democrats don’t see him as being progressive?

    The wording mirrors almost exactly the intention of the outdated UK legislation. The outcome was simply that homosexuality could not be discussed in schools for fear of prosecution. And Andrew illustrates the outcomes precisely.

    Thankfully, at least in Scotland we have a political system which will prevent such bigoted legislation being reintroduced.

  • Matt Carter 28th Sep '09 - 4:46pm

    Where is the voting record?

  • Conservatives are complete hypocrites. Wasn’t that enough said, Andrew?

  • Malcolm Todd 29th Sep '09 - 8:57am

    Hate to even hint at agreeing with anything Daniel Hannan (Hyena’s link above) says, but actually he’s right: there’s no way this is an EU issue. By all means support campaigners in Lithuania fighting the legislation there, but turning it into a “Europe says you can’t do that” campaign is wrong in principle and far more likely to do harm than good.

  • sanbikinoraion 29th Sep '09 - 10:27am

    What is Europe for, if not for raising the standards of everyone in it? The whole point of the European Human Rights Act was that everyone in the EU had to abide by it, wasn’t it?

  • Malcolm Todd 29th Sep '09 - 10:35am

    What European Human Rights Act?
    There’s a European Convention on Human Rights, but contrary to what many people would have you believe, that’s nothing to do with the EU.

    And by the way, the sheer arrogance of “What is Europe for, if not for raising the standards of everyone in it?” is astonishing. I don’t remember anyone campaigning for Europe on the basis that “it will make you better, whether you want it to or not”, and for very good reason. If the EU becomes a crusade, it will become nothing.

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