While Conservative MPs have been silent on the issue of gay adoption, grassroots members have made their feelings clear on Tory discussion boards.

Despite the positive approach towards LGBT people favoured by party leader David Cameron, comments posted on a Tory supporters website demonstrate that many activists disagree with him.

Conservativehome.com contains some lively debate on the gay adoption row, with hundreds of comments and opinions posted in the last 24 hours.

Some of the posts question why the party leadership has been silent on the issue, while others express old-school “nasty party” views about gay and lesbian people.

“Can you tell me why a pair of homosexuals might wish to ‘adopt’ a child? I have encountered plenty of homosexuals over the years and I have never known any who apparently wanted to do such a thing.

“I would say it’s generally alien to their lifestyle. I would imagine most of them would, at the very least, consider it rather ‘odd’,” reads a post by Mark McCartney.

There are several references to a gay mafia, and allegations that David Cameron is being gagged on the issue of gay adoption by this alleged homosexual crime syndicate.

“The Conservative silence on this issue is as deafening as their silence on the admissions to faith schools issue which saw Alan Johnson’s face covered with egg in the autumn.

“Our party seems increasingly influenced by a noisy aggressive gay lobby and has forgotten the larger but politer Christian vote,” comments “Tory Papist.”

One post, by “Gandalf,” refers to a 2002 news report that, “child molestation and paedophilia occur far more commonly among homosexuals than among heterosexuals on a per capita basis.”

Many of the comments are supportive of gay rights and the rights of gay people to adopt, while others have mocked the homophobic stance of some contributors.

“Wonder how many of you that are condemning gay people from adopting are prepared to adopt themselves? I think you are all being selfish from the point of view that the only person that matters is the child.

“Instead of spending time hurling abuse at each other, esp. when most of you will never ever adopt is pointless.

“Instead try thinking about some poor kid , sitting in a home, longing to be loved, esp. the ones that are hard to home, hoping to have some sort of security in their lives. I bet you when it comes to them, they are more tolerant and loving than the whole lot of us put together,” reads a post by Dave.

“‘Why are they all so terrified of the homosexual mafia?’ – are you referring to gay priests in the Vatican?” commented Alison Anne Smith.

Editor of conservativehome.com Tim Montgomerie is a former staffer at Conservative Central Office.

He told PinkNews.co.uk, “I do not approve of homophobia and some of the posts I find offensive.

“There are trolls on sites so some of the people making the comments may not be Conservatives.

“I do not like deleting things if people have those views. So far I have only removed one comment because it used bad language.”

A troll is a person who posts a comment that is deliberately incorrect or provocative.

Conservative Central Office released the following statement about gay adoption row and the imminent publication of the Sexual Orientation Regulations:

“This is a free vote. We supported the Equality Bill in the Commons. The majority of the Conservative front bench believe it is right that same-sex couples should be able to adopt.

“We do however understand the huge complications when it come to people’s faith. We will wait to see what legislation the government will bring forward before making any judgement.”

To see the discussion in full, go to http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/01/tories_silent_i.html#comments