A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
It’s Thursday and that also means the return of ‘Throwback Thursday’. So, here’s a post originally posted back in April 2010. As Theresa May picks up the reigns of power, the Sunday Times reported at the weekend that Tory party membership has soared since May took over from David Cameron with 50,000 new members. The paper also claimed that ‘tens of thousands are believed to have quit over Cameron’s support for gay marriage’ which presumably suggests either May has found a new set of 50,000 Tory supporters or – as the Times alludes – some of those anti-same-sex marriage Tories have made a return. This post prior to the 2010 election which would see Cameron installed as PM is a reminder of how things have evolved. Cameron is gone. Grayling served as May’s leadership campaign manger and is still in the Cabinet. We live in interesting times.
The news is dominated this evening by the the Tories and their weighty manifesto whilst a poll in the Times tomorrow morning puts the Tories just 3% off Labour – within the margin of error. I have to confess I’ve not managed to work through the Labour and Tory manifestos yet but Pink News points out that the Conservative manifesto lacks the commitment to strike out the convictions of men for historic offences – essentially those men prosecuted prior to 1967 for buggery offences. Peter Tatchell has suggested this shows gay rights were an ‘afterthought’. My reaction is more – “you’re not seriously surprised?”.
Sunday saw Tatchell and a host of activists congregate outside Tory HQ in a flash mob in response to Chris Grayling’s B&B remarks (he seems to have been in hiding since). Prior to the flash mob taking place George Osborne agreed to meet with Tatchell and they discussed ‘gay rights’. Tatchell promised Osborne on gay marriage and Osborne promised to ‘consider it’.
To be fair to the Tories, they also announced proposals on homophobic bullying which currently has a high profile on the front of the Conservative website. Read the full proposals here. They all seem fairly sensible to me.
The response to the Grayling slip does seem to have extracted some victories and Peter Tatchell along with all those who turned out at the weekend are to be congratulated. This election continues to be a roller coaster of excitement but the gay vote is now a high profile issue.