The Conservative Party’s hand of friendship to potential supporters who are gay and lesbian seems like a fault line in Tory politics at the moment.
I’ve given up registering the number of comments on ConservativeHome condemning David Cameron’s “pink cabinet” or describing you as “the Candyfloss party, a stick of fluffy, pink, sickly sweet, candyfloss.”
Tim Montgomerie valiantly tried to explain the sensible party policy that “will recognise marriage in the tax system and give fairness to same-sex couples” but for certain ConservativeHome contributors “Pink = gay = New Labour” and all that was bad about Tony Blair's homosexual rights agenda.
I want to try to help such ConservativeHome readers see it from a different place.Homosexuals have always been easy prey for the Tory Party. One of the reasons why it is so hard to even suggest gay people vote Tory is because a whole generation of gay men and women, like myself, lived through Mrs Thatcher’s highly politicised crusade against the gay community, fanned by newspaper’s like the Sun.Section 28 stopped any proper sex education for gay students and there was shocking victimisation of people with AIDS – both these appeals to “lowest common denominator” politics are not easy to forget.
Many in the gay community will never forgive the Conservative Party for its prejudice and bigotry of the 1980s; no matter how hard you try.