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Exclusive: David Cameron writes on gay rights as he answers questions from PinkNews.co.uk readers

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  1. dave wainwright 10 Apr 2010, 4:08pm

    Maybe he should send his prospective MP’s and candidates on an equal ops training course, or even better a days fox hunting to hone their killer instincts. Some of us remember his parties attempts to extinguish us from society with their clause 28 , and how it affected our LGBT communities in the 1980′s , he can grovel all he likes for the LGBT “GAY” vote , he won’t be getting mine

  2. Good on him for answering some questions with specifics.

    Look forward to all the other party leaders doing the same.

  3. I think he covered himself pretty well all things considered.
    My only beef is him claiming “[But] I also accept there are some gay people who want civil partnerships to be a distinct status from marriage.”

    I know I am politically diametrically opposed to most people on here, but I have never heard a single LGBT person say they preferred a CP over a marriage.

    I seriously contest this statement.

  4. What is the actual Tory policy on gay rights? Has Mr Chameleon signed any documents yet? Gay rights policies are simply non existent. He says one thing, then mumbles and says something else, and will tell people have misinterpreted what he said. The Tory party wants to pander to both the homophobes and the gay community until election day. That’s why they have been sending out confusing messages. After election, you can expect more of what they have delivered gay people so far. Zilt. Nada.

  5. I resent the statement that there are those of us who want civil partnerships to be distinct from marriage. He does NOT address those of us who do, as if our opionions don’t count. When he says he’s open to change, that doesn’t mean that he’ll voluntarily introduce civil marriage equality for gay couples unless pressured as long as consensus is there. He doesn’t even say he supports civil marriage for gay couples either, very noticeable and totally oblivious to the fact that eight countries now support it. He’s no better than Brown or his predecessor Blair. So, come May 6, we can expect NO change.

  6. BrazilBoysBlog 10 Apr 2010, 5:06pm

    @4 I agree. Reading his piece, I think it all sounds/looks very reasonable. However, that is all very well appearing and being said to Pink News… What is being said to the bigots in his party? (even to those prospective MP´s who ´have sympathy´ with making exclusions for people who are exercising their beliefs in some almighty sky-pilot?)

    I noticed also that a lot of his comments and answers were of the ´Oh yes, I quite agree that this is wrong, if we get elected, we will LOOK INTO this´ variety..

    I realise that being in opposition, it is difficult to say exactly what you will do in all events… BUT, a few more firm commitments would have been good to see.

    I look forward to reading the interviews with the other party leaders that are coming up…

  7. Neil Young 10 Apr 2010, 5:19pm

    I asked the question on gay marriage over civil partnerships and I’m very unsatisfied with that answer, what utter bull, I have never heard a gay person say they would prefer a civil partnership over a marriage. I realise it is merely a label but it really does equate gay relationships as almost second class. It’s a real shame that no one apart from the Lib Dems actually officially support changing the law in this area.

  8. I found almost every answer unsatisfactory. I don’t think he covered himself well at all. I think that his answer to the question about transpeople and the NHS was particularly offensive. Why apologise for something that you wouldn’t actually change had you the chance? Typical electioneering charlatan.

  9. DoYourOwnResearch 10 Apr 2010, 5:29pm

    David Cameron and his nice words are in no way representative of the Tory party as a whole, and he himself is extremely hypocritical when he positions the Torys as being somehow “reformed”. Evidence from the voting record proves this. Take one example…

    When asked: “Under a Tory government, will lesbian and straight couples continue to be treated identically with regard to sperm donation and inclusion on the birth certificate?”, Cameron replies: “Yes. When the birth certificate issue came up as part of the HFE Bill in 2008 we gave Conservative MPs a free vote on this issue and that’s the way it will stay.”

    This statement about having given Tory MPs a free vote is true, but extremely disingenuous. Just check the voting record…

    On 20 May 2008 as part of the HFE Bill, the motion “Fertility treatment requires a mother and a father” was defeated by a Labour and Lib Dem majority, but, having been given a free vote on the issue, 144 out of the 156 Tories who voted on this proposal voted FOR the proposal, i.e. that fertility treatment should only be available for a mother and a father.

    This is but one example in which David Cameron says something supportive of gay rights, then gives his MPs a free vote and they all vote the opposite way. Don’t be fooled!

  10. Guys and gals, many of you will recognise my name, Eddy, as that of a regular poster on these threads. Well, look at the list of questions Call-Me-Dave has chosen to answer and you’ll see he’s answered NONE of the questions that I put to him. How about YOUR questions?

    Beside the repetition of “Just trust me, trust me!” throughout Call-Me-Dave’s answers (if indeed the piece was written by him and not by one or more of his many assistants), all he has really given us in CONCRETE TERMS here are the following:

    1. Call-Me-Dave says he “will recognise civil partnerships in the tax system”. (Yeah, that’s £3 a week if you’re in a CP and on a very low wage.)

    2. Call-Me-Dave says he has “proposals for flexible parental leave that will benefit parents regardless of their sexuality”. (Yeah, like most LGBT people have children! And anyway he’s carefully used only the word “proposals”.)

    3. Call-Me-Dave SAYS that he “will adopt a zero tolerance approach to homophobic bullying in schools”. (Yeah, really? That SOUNDS great. How about telling us all HOW you will implement such an approach. What will be the punishments for those who DO bully? Yeah, you’ve been careful not to elaborate on that one Dave because you know the gutter-press would ROAST you alive! “Cameron to criminalise homophobic name-calling in schools!”)

    4. Call-Me-Dave says he “will quash convictions for homosexual sexual activities that have since become lawful”. (Yeah, and that will affect a nicely tiny little number, won’t it! As if we’ve all got criminal convictions! Thanks, Dave. That’s a nice message to be sending out about us!)

    That’s it, folks. That’s the sum of Call-Me-Dave’s promises for us in SUBSTANCE.

  11. Yup, it’s nought but a lot of hot air and airy-fairy promises. Not good enough at all! And what about all those questions that SimonM posted here AND to PinkNews. They just haven’t been answered. In fact, they have been ignored! IGNORED!

  12. Terence Weldon 10 Apr 2010, 5:51pm

    David Cameron’s sweet-talking the gays is just that – sweet talk. It is not supported by anything in his party manifesto, nor in any published policy documents, nor in the party’s voting record – or even his own. The record shows that on crucial pieces of recent legislation, he and his party have voted against the Stonewall position twice as often as they have been for it.

    See

  13. Pete & Michael 10 Apr 2010, 5:59pm

    For all those Gay people whom wish for a civil partnership, fair enough, but, this is not equality. Same-Sex Marriage is true Equality as has happened in some European Countries and other parts of the World.

  14. So Callmedave, since “some” gay people prefer a civil partnership over a marriage, that is your excuse for imposing civil partnerships on the majority of people who want full marriage equality?

    You do know that there are also some straight couples who prefer civil partnerships too right? Does that mean that the only institution that should be made available to ALL straight couples should be CPs? If not why not? Why the double standard?

    And while we’re at it, why are the straight couples who prefer CPs denied the right to have one?

    This whole statement is FULL of contradictions:

    “I believe heart and soul in equality: the whole idea of prejudice towards people on the basis of their sexuality is quite wrong and that’s why I back civil partnerships, why I told the Tory conference that commitment through marriage was equally valid whether between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman – and it’s why a Conservative government will put new rules in place to tackle homophobia and support gay couples.”

    In the same paragraph you say that you stand for FULL equality for gay and straight people. Then, in the same breath, you go on to explain your support for segregation in access to public civil institutions. You’re not support equality; you’re supporting “play-like equality”.

    Here is my question to you. If YOU believe that CPs and civil marriage are the SAME then why do you feel the need to give gay people a separate institution from straight people. It’s MUCH more complicated than simply opening up marriage to all so there MUST be a valid reason that you, and LABOUR, feel such a passion for keeping them separate. I suspect it’s because, if fact, you DO want to make sure that everyone knows that the government, and society, DOESN’T see them as equal or of equal value but I’m more than willing to listen to YOUR reasoning.

  15. has this site turned into a tory election campaign website for gay people? its pathetic how much you keep publishing things about the tory party. they are homophobic. get over it. a political party is not made up of one man, its puppet leader. its the members that make up the party, and i can assure you if you did a poll at a tory conference, the resounding majority would be homophobic. most (hague, grayling, etc) don’t even know they are homophobic as it is so ingrained in them – the same as some gay people on here who continually seem to support this right wing party. cameron isn’t the problem – the guy’s just a ventriloquists dummy – you’ve got to ask yourself who is making him speak?

  16. Wow, I almost ashamed to say it but I was considering voting Tory this round.

    After this interview I’ve been snapped back to my senses.

    This is the best he can do when addressing a gay audience on a gay website? His answers were almost all complete non-answers and dances around the topic. He respects that some gay folk don’t want marriage and prefer Civil Partnerships so that’s all that should be available to all gay people? Some straight people prefer living together without marriage. Does Cameron find that as reason enough to deny the right to marry to all straight people?

    I found everything about this interview insulting. Even in the most Tory friendly of venues (PinkNews) Cameron, this time with a script, completely dropped the ball and told us he will promise nothing but that they will not roll-back existing laws. What about passing more laws to end the remaining legal inequality, such as marriage equality for gays and Civil Partnership equality for straights.

    I for one am not impressed. I will not be voting Tory.

  17. vulpus_rex 10 Apr 2010, 7:24pm

    He’s wrong about the marriage v CP thing but other than that I think that interview demonstrates a clear commitment to gay rights.

    I was always going to vote Tory, and how entirely predictable that the usual suspects are out peddling their usual smeary nonsense, but now I hope this interview will encourage as many gay men and women as possible to help put an end to the Labour madness and vote Tory too.

  18. None of my questions were put to him, surprise surprise!

    1) How do you reconcile your fluffy words about supporting LGBT equality with your MPs’ (And Lords’) consistent and continuing opposition when voting on LGBT equality issues?

    2) Should religions have the right to denounce homosexuality?

    3) Iain Duncan Smith opposes LGBT rights, why does he remain prominent in your party?

    4) What do you know of hardship or suffering? Have you been beaten for your sexuality? Have you been sacked as a ‘queer’? Have you looked to the government or police or church for protection against abuse only to find them to be the very ones abusing you?

    5) Will you disestablish the church of England?

    6) What do you say to the 15 million atheists from the 2001 census paying for the church’s continuance?

    7) Why should any non-christian be governed by the false and hypocritical morality of the evil church?

    8) Will you prevent the pope from visiting britain for his inflammatory comments on all levels of morality (From women’s equality to LGBt equality and beyond) ?

  19. I will be submitting the same questions to Gordon Brown (except the first one, as theyworkforyou.com shows labour mps to have much better voting records on LGBT issues!)

  20. “Some straight people prefer living together without marriage. Does Cameron find that as reason enough to deny the right to marry to all straight people?”

    Well put, Jerry. I found David Cameron’s answer on gay marriage totally underwhelming and depressing.

  21. “Guys and gals, many of you will recognise my name, Eddy, as that of a regular poster on these threads.”

    Yes we do, because you still continue to wheel out the same tired ‘joke’ by calling him “Call-me-Dave”. It wasn’t funny the first time.

  22. @Mattb Your questions are spot on.

    It looks like CallmeDave was given carte blanche to pick and chose which questions he answered. Even given that, he made a pretty weak showing C–

  23. Very disappointing.

    He dances around most issues. Obviously he doesn’t support marriage equality. Allegedly some people don’t like it. Who are these people anyway and why do they determine life for the rest of us?

    The tax rebate is a joke. Free vote on the HFE means it could go either way once there’s more tories in Parliament. He basically didn’t answer the adoption question.

    And that thing where he’s managed to find one anti-gay MP associated with the other 2 political parties and that somehow should make us feel better about their being in bed with the homophobic Law and Justice Party was really, really sad.

  24. let us not forget which party dragged its feet when asked to equalise the age of consent for gay men when they were last in office, and then would only reduce it to 18, thereby further criminalising gay men until labour equalised things. the nasty party now clearing up their own mess, me thinks.

  25. David Cameron said I believe heart and soul in equality

    If this is true, perhaps David Cameron would care to explain why almost all Tory MEPs voted against women’s equality on 25th February 2010. (3 abstained and none voted in favour) BNP and UKIP MEPs also voted against equality.

  26. Never Kissed a Tory 10 Apr 2010, 10:15pm

    David Cameron personally voted against gay adoption, for the “need for a father in IVF” and to keep Section 28. Clearly he will say anything to try to show the Tories have changed. Will we believe anything we’re told? Will Pink News publish anything the Tories send them?

  27. David Cameron “Coming Out” Street Party

    2pm, this Sunday, 11 April, outside Conservative election campaign HQ, 30 Millbank, SW1P 4DP

    You are invited to join this Sunday’s carnival-style “Big Gay Flashmob” street party.

    How to get there

  28. This is it?

    THESE are the best question you could ask? Surely there were more softball questions out therE?

    He ducked half the questions! Where’s the answer on marriage? What is this “zero tolerance” against homophobic bullying? What about comprehensive education of kids about all sex education and GBLT issues – INCLUDING in religious schools? What about training in schools? He ignored that question – just a vague statement about “plans”. What about his Home Secretary supporting homophobia? He completely dodged the question about his alliance with an openly homophobic party! He dodged the idea of their being ANY limit to the homophobia he would enable and tolerate

    He keeps saying he’ll give the Tories a free vote – that doesn’t MEAN anything! It means he’ll let his homophobic party be homophobic without any pressure from him

    Empty words and rhetoric. Pure and simple. Don’t be fooled by him

  29. I reckon a tiny vocal minority within the LGBT community are massively over-estimating the influence that LGBT people have in the election.

    For a start, as is clear from the comments, there are many on the left who will never vote Conservative whatever Cameron says. Then there are some who always have, even when the Tories were bringing in Section 28 etc.

    Out of the 6-10% who are LGBT in Britain, by far the vast majority don’t live their lives according to the gay scene and Pride etc. And if you doubt that then just look around next time you’re out and consider that most LGBT adults are aged over 40. Where are they?

    As a Pink News poll revealed recently the number one concern amongst LGBT voters is the economy. These gay policies are nice to have but to many not near the top when it comes to deciding what is important and who to vote for. They’re intersted in tax, NHS, the economy, transport etc. Just like everyone else.

    In a comment above Neil Young says ‘I have never heard a gay person say they would prefer a civil partnership over a marriage’. Well, as a gay man, I can say I was in an 8-year-long relationship in the 1980′s and I’m not bothered about ever having either a civil partnership or marriage in the future. I don’t think we should be apeing hetereosexual institutions. We are different and we should celebrate that. I think all the civil partnership hype just makes a lot of gay men (in particular) unhappy because they are single. It’s just the way male/male relationships tend to be: short-lived for all kinds of reasons relating to masculinity and sex. It’s nice that those who want a civil partnership or marriage have the option. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s a priority for every LGBT person.

    I’m a LibDem but I’m convinced that Cameron is doing this because he believes in it. Not to curry favour with the LGBT community. Sure, as some of the comments point out, there are bigots in the Tory party. In which case consider how many votes Cameron stands to lose from those people compared to the number he will gain from the few LGBT voters who will switch. Why would they select LGBT candidates in safe seats if everything is going to suddenly click back to the 1980′s after the election?

    Labour loves scare tactics – remember how we were told that Saddam could hit us in 45 minutes, how he had WMD, dire warnings about the terror threat (but funnily enough remarkably few incidents in the last 5 years and less than from the IRA 20 years ago), the paedophile threat that has damaged childhood and so on… Now there’s a concerted effort online to try and frighten LGBT voters about the ‘same old Tories’.

    So don’t be fooled. Anyone who thinks that Cameron is doing this because LGBT votes will make much of a difference is kidding themselves.

  30. David: Are you also going to revise Harriet Transphobe’s NuLab ‘Equality’ Bill so that it covers ALL transpeople?

  31. Just after I wrote about Labour scare tactics I went to the Times website and read how they’ve targeted cancer sufferers by name with mailshots warning that they may not get such good treatment under the Tories. If true, this is utterly dispicable:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7094308.ece

  32. GS:-

    I have to agree. That one piece of electioning disgusts me. To use cancer patients and their lifes for political gain goes beyond distasteful. Mores to the point shouldn’t Mr Brown be asking himself Why these patients are being denied the proper treatment and drugs they need Not using emotional blackmail on people whose lifes, who for some, are already hanging in the balance.

    This is an Absolutely disgusting Labour policy and one that shows them up for the nasty vile party they are. I’m hoping come May 6th – they’re put out with the trash.

    David Cameron did well. I appreciate he is trying to move his party forward and I for one will be voting for him on May 6th.

  33. George Broadhead, PTT 11 Apr 2010, 9:13am

    Cameron’s answer to question 8 about bullying, especially in faith schools, reveals his falseness.

    In an interview with The Catholic Herald, Cameron said: “I do think that sex and relationship education is an important part of learning about responsibility,” he said. “But schools should be allowed to teach it in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs, and parents should be free to decide whether or not their children should take part in these lessons.”

    Doesn’t he realise that if faith schools are permitted to teach that same-sex sexual practices are morally wrong, it will do irreparable harm to their lesbian and gay pupils and cause an increase in bullying?

    Faith schools now make up one third of the total number and all three main political parties intend to expand them further. Unsurprisingly, a Stonewall survey revealed that a higher proportion of anti-gay bullying occurs in these schools than in others. How is this going to be tackled if such schools are permitted to teach pupils that lesbian and gay sexual relationships are sinful?

    Faith issues dominate American election campaigns and this is the latest indication of the growing use of this style of campaigning by the Conservatives.

  34. This is it?

    THESE are the best question you could ask? Surely there were more softball questions out therE?

    He ducked half the questions! Where’s the answer on marriage? What is this “zero tolerance” against homophobic bullying? What about comprehensive education of kids about all sex education and GBLT issues – INCLUDING in religious schools? What about training in schools? He ignored that question – just a vague statement about “plans”. What about his Home Secretary supporting homophobia? He completely dodged the question about his alliance with an openly homophobic party! He dodged the idea of their being ANY limit to the homophobia he would enable and tolerate

    He keeps saying he’ll give the Tories a free vote – that doesn’t MEAN anything! It means he’ll let his homophobic party be homophobic without any pressure from him

    Empty words and rhetoric. Pure and simple. Don’t be fooled by him [1,000,000,000,000,000,000]

  35. Cameron’s answer to question 8 about bullying, especially in faith schools, reveals his falseness.

    In an interview with The Catholic Herald, Cameron said: “I do think that sex and relationship education is an important part of learning about responsibility,” he said. “But schools should be allowed to teach it in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs, and parents should be free to decide whether or not their children should take part in these lessons.”

    Doesn’t he realise that if faith schools are permitted to teach that same-sex sexual practices are morally wrong, it will do irreparable harm to their lesbian and gay pupils and cause an increase in bullying?

    Faith schools now make up one third of the total number and all three main political parties intend to expand them further. Unsurprisingly, a Stonewall survey revealed that a higher proportion of anti-gay bullying occurs in these schools than in others. How is this going to be tackled if such schools are permitted to teach pupils that lesbian and gay sexual relationships are sinful?

    Faith issues dominate American election campaigns and this is the latest indication of the growing use of this style of campaigning by the Conservatives. [1,000,000,000,000,000,000]

  36. Gordon Brown answering questions….. Blimey, that’ll be a first!

  37. John(Derbyshire) 11 Apr 2010, 9:57am

    Anyone with any sense can see this entire response is just a load of hot air.Theres nothing concrete there at all-just a lot of meaningless mumbo jumbo. hes said nothing new- its the same old tories. Don`t vote for them-at least they can`t call you nieve!

  38. Mr Chameleon never says where the money is coming from. Under the Tories, the most vulnerable people, at the margins of life and society, will suffer most. They will be made to pay for the maintenance of the status quo of the rich. That is where the money is coming from. That happened in the past, and that will happen again. There’s a reason why the Tories are a rich bunch of grown up kids. They live off a system of priviledges, and they won’t give them up. They’ll use the power of rhetoric and influence to maintain their status quo, in detriment of the sick and the poor. There’s nothing new under the sun. The white straight etonian boys are still the same, representing no one else but themselves and their pockets. No policies, nothing, just vague words and a young puppet candidate to fool the masses, who will be made to pay for their posh upkeeping.

  39. Times online had in their article that after the election if the tories win the home secretary would be a gay man the current shadow enviornmental minister.

  40. I feel that David Cameron may actually hold these supportive views of LGBT equality.
    The real problem is that he hasn’t got a hope in hell of changing the mindset within the Tory party about them, thus offer a free vote and claim to be doing lots for us. Does he really think we are all so stupid?

    Well, YES WE ARE, apparently.

    Following the poll here which showed such support for the Tories I have been asking every gay person I meet over the last week which way they would vote if the election were held tomorrow.

    Staggeringly, out of about 30 people, its currently running at 75%+ voting Tory. When asked why, they all talked about the economy & wanting change or dissatisfaction with Labour. When challenged about what Labour has achieved for US over the past 13 years there was almost a sense of “well we have it now, so lets just move on”.

    If ever there was a time when the Gay Community needs to start speaking out and very loudly its right now or everything we have won over the past decade might just be in danger.

    Millbank this afternoon everyone, lets tell Dave what we really think of his free vote policy on LGBT issues.

  41. There are mainly two types of conservative gay voters. They are either ignorant (those who believe in manipulative and empty words), or they are toff-posh-rich grown up kids, who are selling their brothers and sisters out, to maintain their sliding class status. For the second group, sexuality is of little importance, their pockets come first. That’s how they live, buying everything and everybody.

  42. I’ve Never been one for cracking under emotional blackmail, it’s, quite frankly, pathetic.

    You stay stuck in the past if you want to, that’s entirely your choice but for me? Well I want a better future and that Future Don’t come under Labour!

  43. Tory-inclined poster “GS” says at #29 that we should “consider that most LGBT adults are aged over 40″.

    RESPONSE: GS, LGBT adults come in ALL AGES from those young LGBT adults eligible to vote for the first time this year to those who did you claim that most LGBTs are over 40, as if somehow we are dying out? LOL. You DO know there are little boys and girls of 4, 5, 6, & 7 who are right now discovering an unusually strong preference for members of the same sex, don’t you?

    GS wrote at #29 “I’m not bothered about ever having either a civil partnership or marriage in the future. I don’t think we should be aping heterosexual institutions.”

    RESPONSE: I could agree with you, though I don’t, GS, but you are considering a separate issue. The issue is simply one of equality. If something is available to them, the first-class citizens, then it MUST be made available to us LGBTs. As long as full-blown church weddings are withheld from gays and lesbians then WE ARE CLEARLY NOT DEEMED EQUAL, AS GOOD AS HETEROSEXUALS. I don’t know about how you feel about yourself, but I damned well know that I have as much worth as any heterosexual.

    GS wrote at #29 “Anyone who thinks that Cameron is doing this because LGBT votes will make much of a difference is kidding themselves. ”

    RESPONSE: GS, you know that every vote makes a difference. You also know that WE, the LGBT community, have been struck hard by the Tories in the past. You should know that when the Tories were last in power they gagged every employee of every school in the land from saying or doing anything which might give students the idea that homosexuality might be OK. You exist, GS, and so do I. That’s two votes the Tories could do with! And presumably you’ve seen some of the pubs and clubs heaving with gays and lesbians, young and old? So that’s more votes the Tories could do with. And then there’s the great majority of LGBTs who never go near the commercial LGBT places: that’s thousands and thousands of more votes the Tories could do with.

    You see, GS, the Tories are desperate. They don’t have a clear lead. They will say ANYTHING to get votes from anyone in order to get that lead.

    The Tories are playing dirty and filthy. The other day I got an email from my local Tory candidate (who hopes that I am a Tory supporter!) begging me to SPY on the other candidates and tell him of everything and anything I receive from them through the post, by way of knocks on the door, email, anything. GS, this is how desperate the Tories are for LGBT votes!

    Please reconsider.

  44. That would be a ‘no’ to question seven then David!

  45. Found this buried in the comments of an old story – PinkNews doesn’t think it worthy of proper coverage.

    Letter to Pinknews from Martin Popplewell who interviewed David Cameron for GT magazine.

    I’ve just been reading the comment piece on pinknews and was concerned about the reporting of the GT interview.

    We advised DC’s press team 10 days before the interview that we would like to film it. As soon as he sat down to do the interview the 3 cameras present would have made it clear that we were filming. Before we started there was no request to just do a press interview. It was only when he started floundering on a number of issues – not just the Lithuania vote – that he then tried to wriggle out of the situation with the “thoughtful print interview” line. This has been the line from Conservative HQ after the interview and has been appearing on a number of Conservative blogs but I think the reality is they’ve been trying to find a way to explain away an interview which went badly.

    On the Lithuanian vote. It’s wrong to focus on the fact that David Cameron didn’t know about the vote. The fact was that not one of his MEPs voted the right way to condemn a piece of legislation that Amnesty International had raised concerns about. MEPs from both the Labour and Liberal Democrats had voted against the legislation.

    After the interview we were told that Conservative MEPs wouldn’t vote on a nation state’s domestic issues – hence the Conservative decision to abstain. This is simply not true. A month after the Lithuanian vote the Conservative group themselves tabled a motion regarding Italy and press freedom. This was confirmed by Cathy Newman at Channel 4 News. So the Conservatives do vote on other nation state’s domestic issues but only when they choose to do so. On this occasion they choose not to despite the concerns of Amnesty International. This says something about the priority that the Conservatives put on gay issues when they think they’re not being watched. It’s something I’m sure your readers would care about.

    At the moment it appears that the interview we did – which raised legitimate questions about the Conservatives commitment to LGBT issues – is being dismissed with lines spun by the Conservative Press Office. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that to be the case.

    Is there any chance we could have the above comments reflected on your website. It would also be appreciated if your team could take on board the above when covering the GT interview in the future.

    Kind regards

    Martin

  46. Bobbet No. 34, you asked….”where’s the answer on marriage”? He deliberately avoided answering that question specifically which means there will be NO marriage equality, no matter who wins the election. Just like Brown, he doesn’t care about those among us who want that freedom and choice to marry which under the civil partnership law forbids us from doing so. That alone proves they are not equal and are not about equality. Its beyond Cameron’s or Brown’s conception to think outside the box and see the larger picture.

    Val, No. 23….those people who determine our rights are the likes of StonewallUK and other gay tory apologists who have total disregard for those of us who want that right if marriage could be called a right. I wonder, in the absence of civil partnerships, would they still be supportive of them. My gut feeling is YES. The Tories, just like Labour, most certainly would not have voluntarily introduced legislation for legal unions for same-sex couples unless compelled to, unlike other far more progressive countries than our own. Both ignore that fact. It does beg the question though. Why is it that the EU forced Blair to do it, yet hasn’t forced other EU member states? Why not other member states that had or still have no equality laws?

  47. The Labour Party came to power with a very very strong gay rights platform. They promised many things to us. And they delivered. The development of gay rights under their watch just flowed accordingly.

  48. always thought PinkNews was a LGBT site not part of the Tory party propaganda machine!

    But it seems I was very wrong :(

  49. @ Eddy I don’t care if you label me as ‘Tory-inclined’ I’m actually a LibDem but obviously any LGBT left-winger is going to see that as nearer the Tories. I’ve been out for 28 years and have always thought for myself.

    No LGBT people aren’t dying out. It’s just a basic fact that most LGBT adults are aged over 40, though lots of people are in total denial of that fact. If you take 75 as average life expectancy these days (I’m not sure what the actual figure is currently but I reckon 75 is a conservative estimate). The period from age 18 to 40 is 22 years long. The period from age 40 to 75 is 35 years long. So it is obvious there are more adults (and LGBT adults) aged 40-75.

    Yet overwhelmingly the gay pubs and Prides and magazines are filled with people who are under 40. Maybe everyone could spend a few minutes asking themselves why that is and what should be done about it?

    I’ll add that, if I remember correctly, life expectancy for those young people who you mention is actually falling now due to binge drinking, drugs, obesity and unsafe sex. They will live a shorter life than their parents. Again this is something we should ask questions about, instead of blindly supporting our uber-commercial and exploitative drink-til-you-drop, barebacking gay scene.

    I agree about having equality on civil partnerships and marriage and it being an option for those who have been brought up thinking it is the only way to be and who therefore want it. Personally I’m concerned about the way what was a very diverse, exciting and different LGBT community is being forced into various ‘me-too’ boxes. This excludes many people. Increasingly I see a LGBT world which tends to just cater for the well-off openly gay man who lives the pink pound lifestyle and can fit in with our now mixed gay streets and venues. While the people who don’t fit in are having a worse time of it than 15 years ago.

  50. Hardly a resounding effort to fully support gay rights, going by his answers. Still not prepared to condemn the homophobic Polish Law & Justice party, still not in support of gay marriage as opposed to civil partnerships, claiming to tackle homophobic bullying in our schools, but only as part of general bullying to push forth his idea of giving the final say to head teachers instead of the local authority, etc etc.

    Not convinced one single bit. As for the questions about his attending gay pride, come on, there weren’t that many questions put to him, surely there are far more important issues to fill up all the questions posed.

  51. @ Eddy – a large number of people who are classed as LGBT within this rumoured 10% of the population (or 6.5% depending who you believe) don’t live a ‘pink’ lifestyle and I reckon LGBT issues are way down the list for them. Even for people on this website the economy is the number one issue.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a small number of very vocal, active, scene going LGBT people. They like to suggest that they are representative of all the ’10%’ but they aren’t.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, I’ve heard young gay men say ‘everyone goes to Manchester Pride’. This is all part of the myth and can be disproved by looking at statistics.

    The population of Greater Manchester is 2.24m. If 10% is LGBT that is 224,000. Yet Manchester Pride only sells 35,000 – 45,000 tickets. On top of that consider the number of heterosexuals who go and the number of people from outside of Greater Manchester. Quite a few who spend their summer popping up at every Pride around the country and even around the world. So actually how many of those 224,000 LGBT people in Greater Manchester go to Manchester Pride? At a guess maybe 15,000? That’s less than 7% of the LGBT population of Greater Manchester going to Pride.

    At the weekend, how many LGBT people are actually out in Canal Street? A tiny, tiny percentage of the 224,000 within Greater Manchester. Again with many people visiting from elsewhere. We’re talking about pubs and clubs that have a capacity of a few hundred and many of the people who fill them are straight.

    There is a vast disenfranchised and excluded LGBT population out there. They don’t go to gay holiday destinations, they don’t buy Kylie CDs, they don’t go to gay pubs, they don’t read the gay press and they don’t vote on the basis of gay issues.

    Even the surveys don’t reflect them. It’s usually 1,000 readers of Gay Times and Diva or 1,000 people who were interviewed at some Pride event or in gay bars. This gives the answers that the marketeers want to hear and then, ridiculously, the figures and findings are extrapolated to cover all that 10%. Giving the myth that there is this vast LGBT market that spends billions each year on stereotypical gay obsessions.

    As I said before, it’s quite possible that Cameron will lose more votes by supporting LGBT issues than he will gain. The Tory haters can’t have it both ways. If, as they claim. the party is still filled with homophobes then won’t a sizeable percentage of those not vote or vote for UKIP or even BNP due to disagreeing with Cameron’s support for LGBT issues?

  52. GS: I totally agree with your view on the fact the great majority are both “invisible”, and generally don’t give a toss about LGBT politics and rights, because it largely doesn’t affect them.

    Many on here seem to see the idea that one cannot be gay AND a typical British citizen. I’m sure most people would be more worried about the prospect of mortgage rates going up than they would about say, Gay sex education in faith schools.

    Everyone seems to get worked up into a frenzy about such trivialities when the really important matters strangely don’t appear to affect you if you are LGBT.

    I really think it’s about time we really showed what we were made of and they actually ask the sexuality / gender questions in the next census. Naturally, there may be those that are still in the closet, or choose not to declare it, but I think many will be seriously surprised how many LGBT people are out there.

  53. @ RobN – It certainly would be interesting. Though the problem with the census is that, although it is kept secret for 100 years, it isn’t anonymous. A large number of people continue to live with parents until into their thirties these days and if they are in the closet how can they be honest on the census when one of their parents enters the details for the whole family?

    Absolutely true what you say on issues. This week, as a photographer, I’m very happy that the Conservatives refused to support the part of the Digital Economy Bill that related to ‘orphan works’. Whereas it was Labour that tried to force through this badly-thought-out legislation without proper debate.

  54. Vicki Morley 11 Apr 2010, 8:58pm

    What an interesting way to get out of marriage equality – using the argument that some of us don’t want it!?

    I’m sure some women didn’t want the vote either but, hell, people thought it was the fair thing to do!

  55. I am still voting Labour – thanks anyway Mr Cameron – for nothing.

  56. @ Vicki – What he actually said is:

    ‘I also accept there are some gay people who want civil partnerships to be a distinct status from marriage’.

    If you read the question that was put to him it kind of suggests that marriage should replace civil partnerships. Hence Cameron’s answer that some people want something that is civil rather than religious. And currently heterosexuals can’t have a civil partnership?

    Personally I don’t want either but I particularly wouldn’t want to have only the option of something that has religious connotations. In that respect I think straight people are worse off than we are.

    I find marriage (straight or gay) a bit creepy. I would guess it’s mainly a concern of LGBT people who have had a fairly narrow minded religious upbringing and who are absolutely desperate to conform to society.

    The problem is that we will only ever be a minority and will always be different from the majority. People who can’t embrace that fact are going to tend to be unhappy whatever they get.

    Then there are the people who don’t fit into the little 1950′s ‘getting married’ box at all and, as pressure mounts in society to do the ‘right thing’, conform and get married, the more unhappy those people who can’t achieve it will become. That includes an awful lot of men who can’t sustain a relationship for long.

    We should be saying it’s fine not to be married and who wants to copy a hackneyed outdated heterosexual institution anyway.

  57. Neil Young 11 Apr 2010, 9:49pm

    @ GS – There is so much wrong with what you are saying, you are really quite deluded.

    Firstly, I did not say marriage should replace civil partnerships, I believe that both gay and straight couples should have the choice of either.

    Secondly, marriage does not have to be a religious institution, hence the existence of civil marriages.

    Thirdly, just because you don’t want to get married doesn’t mean the rest of us should not have the option. Some straight don’t want to get married but that doesn’t mean other straight couples who do want a marriage to be prevented from having one.

    You are stuck in the mindset that gay people are totally different from the rest of the population, no we’re not! We work in the same places and speak the same language and go to the same universities, it’s not separate but equal, it’s just equal!!!

    If you want to pretend you’re a different species and we should somehow be isolated from the rest of the world then you’re very much in the minority, I want to take an active role in society and have the same rights as the rest of the population and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not pathetic and it’s not pandering to wanting to be heterosexual, it’s just natural we want such things because believe or not we’re human beings too.

    I don’t mean to be so blunt and you very much have your right to not having a marriage and voicing your opinion but you need to understand that not everyone wants what you want.

  58. @ Neil – your question talked about the day when “the union of same-sex couples will be recognised as a ‘marriage’”. The question didn’t mention civil partnerships being extended to heterosexuals who can’t have them at the moment, so it could be taken to mean that gay marriage would replace civil partnerships. I reckon that might be how David Cameron saw the question and why he responded the way he did.

    This is one example of how you getting the marriage you want could have consequences for people who don’t want that and in a comment in another thread I have mentioned how these things which some see as a step forward sometimes actually end up representing several steps back for other people.

    If you want an illustration of how stifling the world of ‘getting married and having babies’ can end up being just talk to a few straight women who are in relationships but have decided they don’t want children. Hear about the pressure and sometimes downright resentment they are subjected to for not doing the same as everyone else eg. ‘the accepted thing’.

    So this is the path we are going down here and some of us are begging society to do it to us. Increasingly, anyone who doesn’t conform to this getting married/pink pound spending world is being ‘punished’ by being denied resources and support. It’s the way governments like it: load people down with debt and responsibilities and they’ll be too busy, stressed and frightened to kick up any trouble.

  59. @ GS – You simply don’t understand that people don’t want the same as you and not only is that pretty pathetic, it is selfish, I really do feel sorry for you

  60. I’m not going to insult you. I just think this will end up with pressure from society and make a lot of people very unhappy indeed because they can’t achieve that kind of relationship. I see it around me already. Male/male relationships are never going to be like male-female ones no matter how you dress them up. It’s just the way men are.

    Don’t feel sorry for me. I had an 8 year relationship without any need for a civil partnership or marriage. We didn’t need a piece of paper or the approval of society. Many marriages don’t last 8 years.

    I’m very concerned at the way gay life and our community has been totally decimated over the last 15 years and turned into little more that a commercial marketing opportunity and theme park for straight people. Gay weddings are just more of the same circus. There is very little of any quality anymore. It’s all about what makes the most cash (and weddings are notoriously costly).

    Unfortunately there is now a whole generation that has never known any different and the media constantly peddles the myth that we have never had it so good.

  61. Peter Tatchell 12 Apr 2010, 3:23am

    Speaking personally, I would not want to get married. To me, it has a rather sexist and homophobic history. But I defend absolutely the right of others to get married, if they wish.

    The issue is equality. I resent the homophobic discrimination that says same-sex couples can’t get married. We’re banned. That’s homophobic and it should be opposed, even if we are critical of marriage, as I am.

    The ban on same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships is sexual apartheid: one law for straights and another law for queers. If we would not defend a ban on black people getting married, why should we excuse the ban on gay couples?

    If the black community was banned from marriage and offered civil partnerships instead, most of us would condemn it as racism and apartheid. So why are some people defending civil partnerships for same-sex couples?

    Separate laws based on race or sexuality are not equality. They are forms of apartheid.

  62. Neil Young:-

    At last someone talking sense.

    Knew there had to be someone out there. I totally agree with you.

  63. This is excellent and shows Cameron up for who and what his party stands for – beware: http://johannhari.com//2010/04/09/if-youre-looking-for-class-war-you-can-find-it-in-david-camerons-policies

  64. Camp Crusader 12 Apr 2010, 10:23am

    I can’t help but think that this is all just a ploy to try and win votes, rather than a commitment to gay issues and equality. I’m glad that the Conservatives are trying to make an effort, but these seem completely weak. Out of the four policies that Cameron says are specific to LGBT issues, two of them are policies that he initially said would be for married couples and then extended it to civil partnerships as well. This means that the tax break and extended parental leave are not specific policies for gay people. He then says that the Conservatives will adopt a zero tolerance for homophobic bullying in schools. Great to hear and I’m glad that there’s a commitment to zero tolerance, however this is at odds with their policy of allowing faith schools to teach sex education in line with their beliefs. To truly stamp out homophobia, children need to be taught that homosexuality is not wrong, and is not evil. This therefore means that the only policy that he’s mentioned is that convictions for past offences which have since been legalised will be wiped clean. Again, great to hear but I’m sure it’s something that all parties would consider, especially after Gordon Brown’s apology for the treatment of Alan Turing.

    I have a feeling that the Conservatives may well get into power this time round, but I cannot trust that they will do anything to make lives better for gay people. I know that George Osborne has said that the Conservatives will ‘consider’ gay marriage, but this is not a commitment to do anything, and the voting record for the Tories on gay issues is shocking. Labour and Liberal Democrats had over 90% of their MPs scoring 50% or higher in Stonewall’s assessment of voting records, whilst the Conservatives scored only 6%. If the Conservative Party really is changed, then why do so many of their MPs not want to vote for gay rights?

    My other concern is that it really doesn’t matter who fronts the party. The real power in the Conservative Party is still the same old Tories that it ever was. Whilst there may well be a raft of new, gay MPs waiting in the wings, the core of the Tories is still the same. If the Conservatives want to show that they truly are a changed party, then they need to have specific policies, and commitments to address gay rights. They also need a leader who can speak confidently on these issues, and not end up calling for an interview to be stopped because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  65. Of the 15 stories appearing on the front page of Pink News, 12 are about the Tory Party.

    Yet Pink News claims not to be biased.

    How stupid do the editors and reporters regard us?

  66. Simon you copy and paste is boring.

    So far only the Tories have been reported for gay issues, and not all in a particularly good light yet I’ve yet to hear Labour and the Lib Dems state what they intend to do. I dare so when they do PinkNews will report it.

    I know you’d rather this Just reported on Labour but believe it or not the majority of people probably don’t.

    You communist stance is quite boring. Please Get over it.

  67. Squidgy
    Of course you don’t like it pointed out that Pink News is a blatantly Toryite website.

    But it’s worth pointing out repeatedly.

    The fact that Pink News claims to be neutral is an utter joke when 80% of their front page stories are about the Tories.

    You are a Tory so obviously you don’t want LGBT people to realise they are reading a blatantly Toryite website.

    Most LGBT people with a brain remain deeply suspicious of the Tories.

    The fact that Pink News is a right-wing Tory rag is information that will be interesting to many LGBT people who may not have clicked this.

  68. Vicki Morley 12 Apr 2010, 3:17pm

    @ GS

    I think that everyone would be better off if people didn’t assume anything.

    If you don’t want to get married because you don’t like the religious connotations – fair play.

    Having said that I would really love to get married.

    Not because I’m desperate to conform to society (personally I rate standing up for your own beliefs before wasting your life trying to adhere to those of others) but because I would love to commit myself to someone else in the traditional and religious way of marriage.

    And for the record, the one thing you can’t be if you happen to be gay AND religious is narrow-minded.
    It has taken me a complete lack of judgement and stereotype to be proud of my sexual orientation and my faith at the same time.

  69. Actually Simon as you prove you don’t read threads, because if you did you’d know that I am traditionally a Lib Dem who just happens to be voting Tory this time and only as a means to get Labour out. Don’t blame you Labour-induced State peddling on me.

    I don’t see any other party making comments relevant to gay issues over the weekend. Only Mr. Browns somewhat long over due gesture today. So I guess there’s been no other party to report about. If your looking for a socialist paper go find one.

    You are clearly the one who is being bias because you can’t handle reports on other parties. No, that would require you to stop and think wouldn’t it!! Can’t have that now, can we?

  70. I totally agree with Squidgy on the lack of announcements and on voting to get Labour out. Though I’ll still vote LibDem. As I said before, where were all the protests in the past about every single gay magazine and paper being unashamedly biased towards Labour from people who were worried about bias in the gay media?

    These people are actually complaining about a gay news site that has the nerve not to be pro-Labour.

    And looking around at some of the dirty tricks Labour has been getting up to to try and prop up its vote, like the sinister cards targeted at cancer sufferers, I suspect there is a co-ordinated online campaign to deluge sites like Pink News with anti-Tory comments.

  71. Anti-Tory comments? AS IF … The Tories are Anti-Gay. Their attitudes and most importantly, their RECORD, is there for everyone to see.

  72. Bobbet wrote: “The Tories are Anti-Gay. Their attitudes and most importantly, their RECORD, is there for everyone to see.”

    Oh my God! Speaking of RECORDS do you know who was in Government when Oscar Wilde was imprisoned in 1895? The LIBERALS!

    So, Bobbet, just how far back would you like to trawl through history checking the RECORD? My guess is just enough to make the Tories look bad?

    Maybe everyone should just look to the future instead of raking over the past? Why would the Conservatives choose gay candidates if this wasn’t genuine? Yes they are behind compared to Labour and the LibDems. But they seem to be progressing.

  73. Emmarainbow 13 Apr 2010, 5:59am

    Haven’t trawled through all the comments here, sorry, but saw the last one and felt obliged.

    GS – last five years, of all the parties in Parliament, including the smaller ones, tories voted least in line with what Stonewall thought was best. When gender identity was mentioned during the equality bill, ‘filthy perverts’ was shouted from the tory benches. In the past two weeks, a tory MP has been forced out over gay slurs and the shadow home secretary has deemed it ok for us to be turned onto the street if we turn up to a bnb and they decide they don’t like our kind. Sex ed that included gay issues was shot down too.

    What more do you want?!

  74. It always makes me laugh the way some gay people assume that because we’re gay we Have to all act in the same way, do the same thing, all speak the same thing on the same subject.

    Then lecture on Equality but if we all have to do the same thing, say the same thing etc doesn’t that make us separate from everyone else. If everyone else is allowed to have the freedom to say, do and act however they choose why do some of the Gay mafia on here seem think we must all stick to a certain line, vote the same way etc.

    Thats not equality, Thats a dictatorship.

    Now I know that we don’t have Equality on some issues but many gay people will vote Tory. Some will vote BNP. Others may agree with the faith school sex education drivel Labour have brought in. Some don’t like clubbing or even going to gay bars. That, my darlings, is called Freedom of Choice. It is something we are all entitled.

    It doesn’t make us Less gay.

    It means that when it comes to thought, expression and speech we are indeed just like everyone else in this country…. Equal.

    And I for once enjoy that. I couldn’t think of anything more boring than having to tow some gay ideal line.

    That, my darlings, is not equal.

  75. Also whats this deal with attacking the Tories with who they side with in Europe, which must, apparently prove they’re homophobic, yet Labour are sided with just as vile a party in Europe, who may I add have past there own section 28 but somehow thats fine and it by no way means Labour are homophobic?

    Seems like double-standards to me.

  76. EU recognition of the British civil partnership – looks like most countries with a CP/union or marriage already recgonise the British CP as its equivalent -see http://www.uklgig.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2213
    I wish these politicians could get some basic facts rights first and the proceed from there ie tell us which countries don’t recognise the CP and make a little bit more effort to get some basic rights for CP abroad….

  77. GS, you wrote at #60: “I’m very concerned at the way gay life and our community has been totally decimated over the last 15 years. . . There is very little of any quality anymore.”

    Very little of any quality ANYMORE?

    I would suggest to you very strongly that there has never been SUCH a level of quality BEFORE – as there is NOW!

    You’re coming across as a bit of a yearner-after-the-past, a bit of a Ray Gosling, in fact, GS! I’d be wary of getting into the mindset. It’s very easy to slip into. I’ve known quite a number of older gay men who have fallen into it: always yearning for “the good old days”! It’s a cop-out. Those days are gone, so no one can re-experience them. If we COULD re-experience them, then, without doubt we would find that the lot of LGBTs NOW is a million times better than it used to be THEN.

    And all largely due to those who have been out there fighting for improvements, people like Peter Tatchell, Lisa Power, Michael Cashman, Ben Summerskill, Chris Morris, Duncan Lustig-Prean, Jeanette Smith, Graham Grady, John Beckett, Matthew Parris, Ian McKellen, and MANY MANY others whose names I cannot this minute recall.

  78. Remember, many of the legislative reforms under Labour were essentially pushed through by the EU; the UK along with the other EU member states were under an obligation to enact legislation implementing specific EU directives on equal treatment. Failure to comply would result in a fine from the EU and the domestic govt being taken to the ECJ (European Court of Justice). Much of the liberalisation in the EU is as a direct effect of the intervention of a very pro-active EU Commission. Look at Ireland; it was transformed in a very short space of time and is now very gay-friendly compared to how it once was, all because there were financial incentives coming from EU. Long live our membership; it has forced many places to grow up.

  79. Eddy it may be better if you’re a white openly gay male with a high income. But in many respects progress for people like that has been at the expense of others. And very few people care! Yes I’ve considered whether this is an ‘age’ thing but I don’t think it is. I say it from personal experience.

    When I stand on Canal Street in the so-called gay village and hear men shouting ‘pervert’ at a trans women, or when they’re throwing chips at me and a trans friend, when people can’t afford to buy a ticket to go to ‘Pride’, when we can’t run non-profit LGBT events because there isn’t a single free space in Manchester away from alcohol, when there are no safe spaces anymore because straight men and women have to be allowed to poke their noses in everywhere, when people are stabbed to death in the gay part of town, when more and more young men I know keep becoming HIV+, when many spend their weekends on the scene ‘wasted’ on drugs and alcohol, when there are no LGBT programmes on TV anymore just poof stereotypes that are in some ways worse than 40 years ago, when there is no proper gay press anymore (Pink News excepted), when everything is driven by profit and money, when gay culture has been destroyed due to political correctness, when cruisers are hassled and gay politicians and charities join the police in doing that, when the people you list are more interested in posing around minority issues such as gay marriage and adoption rather than the real things that many more people face…

    When all those things are happening and many didn’t 30 years ago, NO things haven’t improved.

  80. Kae, one must completely reject the mean-spirited tendency to take from Labour all praise for all the Equality legislation they have passed and give it to the EU. Look at Greece. It has been a member of the EU since 1981. It has refused to implement dozens of policies agreed by other members of the EU. Britain could have done the same. Where Britain along with other EU states has agreed on policies at the EU, the British government has then implemented those policies.

    So no more, thank you, of that mean-spirited refusal to give praise where praise is due.

    GS:

    “I stand on Canal Street in the so-called gay village and hear men shouting ‘pervert’ at a trans women”

    So if I catch a train to Manchester tomorrow morning and go straight to Canal Street I will hear men shouting at trans women, will I?

    Put things in perspective.

    “they’re throwing chips at me and a trans friend”

    So people are regularly throwing chips at you and your trans friend?

    Could you please tell us where and at what time we may all arrive to view this regular phenomenon?

    “people can’t afford to buy a ticket to go to ‘Pride’”

    What have they spent their money on that they do not have sufficient left over to buy a ticket for Pride? Do they appreciate Pride enough, so that they will save up to buy a ticket? Everything in life costs money.

    “we can’t run non-profit LGBT events because there isn’t a single free space in Manchester away from alcohol”

    This is not true. Manchester City Council easily offers and arranges spaces for non-profift LGBT events away from alcohol. I have attended many.

    “there are no safe spaces anymore because straight men and women have to be allowed to poke their noses in everywhere”

    You imply that when heterosexual men and women use a venue it automatically becomes an unsafe place for LGBT people. I would contest that and so would hundreds of thousands of other LGBT people who use heterosexual places all the time without feeling unsafe.

    “people are stabbed to death in the gay part of town”

    I really must visit Manchester again soon! It appears that things have changed a great deal there. You say there is now a gay part of Manchester where people are being stabbed to death. What’s the rate? One stabbing every half hour, is it?

    Put things in perspective.

    “more and more young men I know keep becoming HIV+”

    People cannot “keep becoming HIV+”. You get HIV+ ONCE and that’s it. You’ve got it forever. You don’t “keep becoming HIV+”.

    You say “more and more young men” whom you know. You appear to know a great deal of young men.

    If you are honest with yourself, I wonder exactly how many young men whom you know personally have become HIV+.

    Keep things in perspective.

    “many spend their weekends on the scene ‘wasted’ on drugs and alcohol”

    “Wasted on drugs and alcohol”? Do you really mean “wasted”? So were we to visit Manchester we would see countless LGBTs lying around on the streets, in alleyways, in shop doorways, “wasted”, would we.

    I am sure there are some who abuse alcohol and who take drugs. That has always been the way with young people.

    “there are no LGBT programmes on TV anymore”

    I don’t recall there ever having been a great plethora of specifically LGBT programmes on television. Off-hand, I can only recall one, in the late 1980s, presented by Rhona Cameron and a co-host.

    “just poof stereotypes that are in some ways worse than 40 years ago”

    This is wrong. We do not “just have poof stereotypes” on television these days. There have been a great many TV programmes and films in recent years which have featured gay men and women positively. Think of “Six Feet Under”, “Will and Grace”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “Mad Men”, and so many others.

    “there is no proper gay press anymore (Pink News excepted)”

    Besides Pink News there is The Pink Paper and Gay Times and, if you care to do a google, dozens of online gay-press publications. In fact, today the array of publications from LGBT voices is bewildering!

    “everything is driven by profit and money”

    Everything is NOT driven by profit and money. I need only refer to Manchester’s very fine Albert Kennedy Trust to prove that point.

    “gay culture has been destroyed due to political correctness”

    This is an extraordinary statement and a meaningless one. Furthermore, greater respect for LGBTs has meant that there has been a great flourishing gay culture. Look at the pervasiveness of gay literature for example. Gay literature has even entered the mainstream. Have you, for example, read Colm Toibin or Alan Hollinghurst, to name but two?

    “cruisers are hassled”

    Gay cruisers have always been hassled. But even then they have never been continuously hassled, but only occasionally. And, usually, they are hassled only when they cruise in public places, where sex-in-public causes offence, as indeed it should do.

    “gay politicians and charities join the police in doing that”

    So you can give a concrete example, can you, of a gay cruiser having been hassled as a result of the combined effort of a specific gay politician, a specific charity, and a specific police force?

    “when the people you list are more interested in posing around minority issues such as gay marriage and adoption rather than the real things that many more people face”

    So you, GS, condemn the following people for posing around LGBT issues which you believe are not real things: Peter Tatchell, Lisa Power, Michael Cashman, Ben Summerskill, Chris Morris, Duncan Lustig-Prean, Jeanette Smith, Graham Grady, John Beckett, Matthew Parris, Ian McKellen, and MANY MANY others whose names I cannot this minute recall.

    You say that all of the above people have not dealt with “real things” that LGBT people face. You are wrong. That can be proven by taking just one example. Duncan Lustig-Prean was instrumental in gaining rights for gays and lesbians in the military. What have YOU done, GS, that is as real as that?

    I think the above analysis proves beyond all doubt that you have spoken irrationally. You have damaged the image of “GS” on these pages very seriously.

  81. @ Eddy – yes if you would like to walk around Canal Street on Friday or Saturday night with a trans friend, especially in the summer when people are sitting out it’s quite likely that sooner or later you’ll hear some abuse – maybe from boorish sneering straight men – that will spoil your evening. I gave some examples and the cumulative effect is that the gay village is a place where a lot of people don’t feel comfortable anymore.

    Last year a Facebook group was set up called Gangs of Canal Street precisely because of all the trouble and that led to a meeting with the police. You may have heard about the BBC film crew who were attacked last year? I’m sorry that you don’t take this issue seriously but I’m sure getting gay marriages will solve all the problems.

    You ask if you would see people lying around on the streets. Quite possibly. Many people every weekend so drunk they can barely stand and look after themselves, I have seen people passed out in the street and even around the Rochdale canal. Obviously the vast profits of the bars can’t possibly be restricted so recently the Labour city council spent hundreds of thousands of public money on a glass fence all the way along Canal Street because people who had been drinking kept falling in and in some cases dying. None of this happened 20 years ago.

    Yes in my opinion the presence of straight men DOES make a venue less safe for LGBT people. It also changes it completely and I’m sure many people will agree with me.

    Pride used to be free and the businesses could easily fund it. Which other similar public events in Manchester have such an expensive ticket or any ticket at all? The question is why should there be a ticket when businesses get £20m of extra income each year? Though obviously letting fat cats off the hook is very New Labour.

    You are wrong to say there are easily available spaces provided by the council for non-profit events and particularly not if they are anything that the Labour council doesn’t like. I was part of the collective that ran the non-profit Get Bent! festival in Manchester in 2007. But obviously you know better even though you don’t live in Manchester.

    All the TV programmes you list are actually American not British. Featuring in a programme is not the same as one being ‘for’ and about us. You seem to have forgotten Out on Channel 4 and there is no serious factal LGBT programme of that quality on TV anymore.

    If you wish to make fun of the issue of unsafe sex and young men who I know ending up HIV+ then you’re a bit of a sad person.

    Gay Labour Councillor Paul Fairweather was quoted in the Pink Paper saying Cruising is ‘unlawful’. GALOP disagrees and you don’t seem to be aware of the law yourself. The Manchester charity the LGF has been collaborating with the Police in publicising the ‘cruising crackdown’ with dire warnings of prison sentences etc. On the last occasion they actually suggested that cruisers might like to contact the police for information about cruising! If you go there you will see the threatening posters put up by the police and city council, the floodklights and barriers. The above amounts to harrassment and intimidation of all cruisers quite apart from what happens to individuals. Where would you like men to cruise if not in a ‘public places’? Would you like to ban straight men from chatting to women in public places too? This is homophobia plain and simple.

    Interesting that you include Chris Morris on your list. I can recommend the article he wrote for the Spectator: ‘Now meet the Gay Mafia’:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/199902120019

  82. Jean-Paul Bentham 16 Apr 2010, 8:56pm

    @77:

    You said:

    “If we COULD re-experience them (the by-gone days), then, without doubt we would find that the lot of LGBTs NOW is a million times better than it used to be THEN.”

    So true. A gazillion times better…and there’s till room for improvement, yuk, yuk.

    Vote Lib Dem!

  83. I have to agree with GS about TV programming. I was a teen in the 80s and remember seeing many interesting programmes relating to LGBT people espesh on C4. I remember one night sitting up late watching a very explicit european gay movie. There were also many documentaries about HIV and people living with AIDS which were extremely important. What’s happened to that? Its totally dropped off the social agenda now that anti-retroviral therapy is here. But HIV hasn’t gone away and young people still need to be educated, clearly. I think the decline is symptomatic of a broader trend. I always laugh when ppl mention Will and Grace because at the heart of it is a relationship about a man and a woman not 2 men. Its like a pseudo-straight marriage!

  84. Patrick James 17 Apr 2010, 12:26am

    When I stand on Canal Street in the so-called gay village and hear men shouting ‘pervert’ at a trans women, or when they’re throwing chips at me and a trans friend, when people can’t afford to buy a ticket to go to ‘Pride’, when we can’t run non-profit LGBT events

    GS continues with this list of terrible things and then writes:

    When all those things are happening and many didn’t 30 years ago, NO things haven’t improved.

    I remember very well being LGBT life in the UK 30 years ago.

    Life for LGBT people in the UK has improved vastly over that period of time.

    You really are kidding yourself if you believe otherwise.

    You say that you have had chips thrown at you and a trans friend.

    30 years ago to be visible LGBT in many parts of cities in the UK was taking a very significant risk. A risk of being seriously beaten up, a risk of stones being thrown through the window of your house.

    I remember these events myself.

    You say that you can’t afford a ticket for pride.

    You say that you can’t run a non-profit LGBT event.

    What else?

    People take drugs at night-clubs.

    Cats aren’t going meaow at you in a nice way.

    The summers don’t seem to be as long as they used to be.

    GS grow up!

  85. Patrick James 17 Apr 2010, 12:28am

    kae writes:

    Remember, many of the legislative reforms under Labour were essentially pushed through by the EU;

    What absolute nonsense.

    The Labour party advances legislative reforms for LGBT people without any input whatsoever from the European Union or the European Court of Justice.

    kae writes:

    Look at Ireland

    Yes do!

    I grew up in Northern Ireland but I follow the affairs of the Republic very closely.

    kae continues:

    it was transformed in a very short space of time and is now very gay-friendly compared to how it once was

    Irish legislation has been transformed by the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights.

    After a very lengthy struggles individuals within Ireland took the state to the European Courts to obtain equal age of consent for gay male sex, but please note, this victory was won in 1994!

    That is the experience if the state is dragging its heels on reform as Ireland was.

    I am very glad that the UK is a part of the EU and wish it to remain so.

    However the neither the EU nor the European Court of Human Rights have had anything to do with the reforms for LGBT issues under Labour.

    If you had any understanding of what that process is like then you would not be making these erroneous statements.

  86. Patrick James 17 Apr 2010, 12:37am

    GS writes:

    if you would like to walk around Canal Street on Friday or Saturday night with a trans friend, especially in the summer when people are sitting out it’s quite likely that sooner or later you’ll hear some abuse – maybe from boorish sneering straight men – that will spoil your evening. I gave some examples and the cumulative effect is that the gay village is a place where a lot of people don’t feel comfortable anymore.

    Grow up GS.

    Sneer back at those boorish sneering straight men.

    Your complaints make me laugh.

    GS, there are bad people in this world, there will always be bad people in this world.

    Just ignore them and get on with your life.

    Life for LGBT people has vastly improved throughout the UK over the last 30 years.

    I know this from experience.

    However, we can’t criminalise boorish sneering straight men.

    So, you’ll just have to put up with it :)

    GS, remember, other people face minor difficulties in life as well. It is not just you.

  87. GS, how old are you exactly?

    (I’m 55. I lived in Manchester in the 80s. And I didn’t experience the Shangri-La that you seem to be hankering after.)

    How old are you?

  88. Back to the conservatives, and don’t worry! The economy is safe in their hands…

    http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/03/conservative-party-cash-gordon-campaign-was-designed-by-us-anti-healthcare-lobbyists/

    sooooo our new best-buddy David Cameron’s smear on Gordon Brown was not only designed by an anti-healthcare lobby group, but also a homophobic lobby group too, stating the military “should not be used as a tool to advance the goals of gay activist groups”.

    “But perhaps the biggest indictment of the campaign is the level of engagement achieved in relation to its cost. With a $15,000 pricetag, the act.ivi.st web platform makes Cash Gordon the most expensive few web pages in UK politics – and it gets worse. At the time of writing, links to cash-gordon.com have been tweeted 241 times. That’s a shocking £41 per tweet. Even widening the net to every single mention of #cashgordon by the general public brings this down to a bargain basement price of, erm, £15.50.”

    Attacking Labour’s union links: £15 per tweet.
    Recycling an anti-healthcare web platform: priceless!

    The economy, about as safe as our rights….

  89. Patrick James and Eddy repeatedly you have shown that you actually don’t care about what life is like for most LGBT people. All you care about is posturing and arguing your own little trendy political hobby horses.

    Eddy – you defended Manchester Pride being a fenced off, exclusionary, pay event.

    Patrick James you defend homophobic and transphobic abuse being thrown at people in the very part of town which is supposed to be a safe space for us.

    Why should we put up with the above when we didn’t have to 25 or even 15 years ago? Really it’s disgusting that you both should defend these. How is it that you can (quite rightly) be against inequality and bullying in schools yet you are not against it right in Manchester’s gay village?

    This is typical of the left-wing. They will latch onto any trendy headline grabbing cause. For instance worrying that ‘parents’ are excluded from Pride and while ignoring the fact that it, the gay village and so-called LGBT ‘community’ offers nothing for virtually all over 40′s (more than 50% of all LGBT adults).

  90. GS, try as you might to sound credible and sane, as I demonstrated very clearly in Comment 80, in response to your ridiculous litany of assertions at Comment 79, your posts come from a mental state that appears to be less than sound.

    And I asked you subsequently and very clearly how old you are. It’s very odd that you couldn’t answer that question immediately. I don’t believe you’re being straight! Couple that with the hysteria that you vent, read your gushing claims at 79 again, and I am afraid you’ve made yourself seem not worthy of time or consideration. You’ve cooked your goose.

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