One-third of Cameron’s shadow cabinet opposed to gay rights

Nick Clegg made some waves this week by calling for full gay equality, and challenging the Tories and their leader David Cameron to follow his example. Well, now Lib Dem research has shown what an uphill battle the Tory leader will have on his hand even convincing his own shadow cabinet to back such moves – let alone his even more right-wing backbenchers – as The Guardian reports:

Nearly a third of David Cameron’s shadow cabinet voted against gay rights legislation at some point over the last two parliaments, demonstrating their “shameful” record in tackling discrimination, according to the Liberal Democrats.

They have compiled research on four examples of legislation where many Tories voted against equal rights laws. Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, said progress on gay rights would “grind to a halt” if the Conservatives won the election. “The Tory record on supporting gay rights is nothing short of shameful,” he said. The Lib Dem research shows:

• Ten out of 32 members of the shadow cabinet voted against at least one piece of gay rights legislation. The shadow Europe minister, Mark Francois, voted against all four.

• David Cameron, Kenneth Clarke, Mark Francois, Chris Grayling, William Hague, Francis Maude, Patrick McLoughlin, Andrew Mitchell, George Osborne and Sir George Young voted against legislation to repeal section 28, which had banned local authorities and schools from “promoting” homosexuality, in 2003.

• Nineteen members of the shadow cabinet joined the attempt to block the equality bill, which included a requirement for all publicly funded bodies to promote equality.

• Seven members of the shadow cabinet voted to allow only heterosexual married couples to adopt in 2002.

• Four of the shadow cabinet voted against powers which passed through the house in March 2007 giving the secretary of state the ability to bring in regulations with a new definition of discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation.

• Thirty-five Tory MPs voted to allow only heterosexual married couples to adopt in 2002 and a third also voted against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in March 2007, allowing the government to make regulations defining discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation.

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3 Comments

  • Next thing you know you’ll be telling us the Tories don’t care about public services, have retrogressive views on Europe or receive a fair bit of funding from a fair few dodgy businessmen. Stop the presses! Almost makes you wish there were an active liberal party one could vote for instead. Oh wait….

  • Well, when you have pickley chaps telling us how smashingly liberal the Conservative Party has become, it’s useful to remember the facts.

  • If you support Nick and DELGA‘s call for equal marriage, please sign our petition. You can become a fan on Facebook and invite all your friends to sign too!

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