Shadow chancellor and Conservative general election campaign manager George Osborne met gay rights campaigner and Green party activist Peter Tatchell earlier today and promised to ‘consider’ gay marriages ahead of Mr Tatchell’s event to persuade Conservative leader David Cameron to ‘come out’ more on gay rights.
Mr Tatchell is organising the event which will take place outside the Conservative Party headquarters in Westminster with the lesbian environmental activist Tamsin Omond. The event was originally organised via Facebook on the basis that David Cameron had no policies relating to gay rights, and followed comments by shadow home secretary Chris Grayling that appeared to support the rights of bed and breakfast owners to ban gay couples.
Writing for PinkNews.co.uk yesterday, David Cameron did announce two gay rights policies. One was to erase the criminal records of all convicted of gay sex offenses that are now legal, the other to introduce a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to homophobic bullying in schools.
Today, following his meeting with Mr Osborne, Mr Tatchell said the Conservatives had “good intentions” but were still “weak on coherent policy”.
Mr Tatchell said: “It was positive that they met us but disappointing that they had nothing to tell us.
“George Osborne was full of good intentions but very weak on very specific gay rights policies.
“The best he could do on gay marriage was say he would consider it.”
Yesterday, writing for PinkNews.co.uk, Peter Tatchell welcomed Mr Cameron’s new gay rights policies: “Although only a halfway house, this is a move in the right direction. The failure of the Home Secretary Alan Johnson to match this commitment makes the Tories more progressive on this issue than Labour.”
But added: “It is a big disappointment that David Cameron is only offering two gay rights policies.”
Mr Tatchell is also due to be meeting senior gay Conservative Nick Herbert and Theresa May who is the shadow work and pensions secretary and shadow minister for equality.