Conservative Diary

« Tories recalibrate green message for lean times | Main | As Sir Thomas Legg's report on MPs' expenses is published, David Cameron must ensure again that the Conservatives provide the most robust reaction to the public anger »

David Cameron reaches out to the gay community

2251 In this recent Platform piece, David Bridle of the gay magazine Boyz took his hat off to David Cameron for celebrating the importance of civil partnerships.

Today he ought to have further cause for satisfaction as the Independent features an interview with the Tory leader conducted by the paper's columnist Johann Hari for the forthcoming edition of gay magazine Attitude.

He repeats his view that Section 28 was a mistake, speaks about he value of civil partnerships and says "there will be occasions when gay couples make very good adoptive parents."

And that's not all. On refugees fleeing homophobic persecution, he says:

"If you are fleeing persecution and that fear is well-founded, then you should be able to stay. As I understand it, the 1951 Convention [on the rights of refugees] doesn't mention sexuality, but because it mentions membership of a social group, that phrase is being used by the courts, rightly, to say that if someone has a realistic fear of persecution they should be allowed to stay."

He also indicates that he would want to reverse the ban on gay men giving blood:

"It sounds perfectly logical and sensible to make the change... Logic would dictate that it's time to change."

Needless to say, this is not sufficient for Labour-supporting Hari, who wants a specific pledge on dealing with homophobic bullying in schools - despite Cameron's pledge to seek a crackdown on all bullying in schools.

Hari also goes down the well-travelled path of the Left over the last year by attacking the Conservative Party's allies in the European Parliament. Cameron admits that allies taking a more socially conservative view on homosexuality makes it "more difficult" for him to persuade gay people to vote Conservative and that some parties in Eastern Europe have longer journeys ahead in terms of changing their attitudes. However, he emphasises that European alliances are naturally based on "views on the broad direction of the future of Europe".

And so they should be. Will Johann Hari pursue Gordon Brown with the same vigour over Labour's unsavoury allies in European as highlighted brilliantly here, here and here by Dan Hamilton?

Jonathan Isaby

NB I have deleted a number of off-topic comments in the thread below, as well as several which I deemed inappropriate. Any other comments in a similar vein will also be subject to deletion.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.