Gordon Brown has defended Labour’s record on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) rights in a question and answer session with a student website. In particular he mentions that he challenged the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni over proposed homophobic legislation and questions David Cameron’s commitments to gay rights.
Responding to a question from a number of Student Room users which asked how much of a real priority LGBT rights are to the Labour Party, Gordon Brown wrote: “”It’s a massive priority for us and a cause we have consistently promoted in the last 13 years. Despite fierce and well-organised opposition, Labour introduced gay adoption, civil partnerships, an equal age of consent, fertility rights for lesbian and bisexual women, protection at work and in the delivery of goods and services and an end to the military ban. Going forward there is still a lot to do, including promoting gay rights abroad.
“I have already challenged the Ugandan President about proposed anti-gay legislation there and if Labour are re-elected Britain will continue to be one of only a handful of countries with the promotion of LGBT rightly as a formal key plank of foreign policy.
“Labour’s Equality Act will ensure that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are treated fairly by public bodies, and we have made a manifesto commitment to reverse the so-called Waddington amendment which saw Tory Lords water down our legislation to protect people from incitement to homophobic hate.
“I have to question the Conservatives’ commitment to equality after their shadow home secretary said people running B & Bs in their own home should have the right to turn away gay couples, and David Cameron spoke out against repealing Section 28 and voted against allowing gay couples to adopt.”
Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary referred to by Mr Brown subsequently apologised for comments that suggested that bed and breakfast owners should have the right to ban gay couples. David Cameron apologised for his party’s policy on Section 28 last year.
Writing on PinkNews.co.uk, David Cameron said:”From my first speech as Party leader, I have made it clear that the Conservative Party supports the gay community and wholeheartedly supports gay equality. We have backed tougher legislation to crack down on gay hatred and we will extend tax advantages and new rights to flexible working to those in civil partnerships. On top of these policies, we have selected some brilliant gay and lesbian candidates – and in safe seats. And on behalf of the Party I apologised for Section 28.”
Yesterday during Sky News’s Leaders’ Debate, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said that Mr Cameron had aligned himself with “nutters, anti-Semites, people who deny climate change exists and homophobes” in the European Parliament.
PinkNews.co.uk intends to publish its own readers questions and answer session with Gordon Brown next week, having already published sessions with Nick Clegg and David Cameron.