Labour’s Flawless record on gay rights? errr You mean the one where after 13 years in government, 3 landslide election victories and endless shouting about how fantastic they were on equality they still didnt manage to introduce equal marriage and now attack the Tories for “not whipping their MPs” when the conservative led government bring it to parliament to be passed? How hypercritical can you get but not surprising from a London assembly member who supports the bizarre goings on of the Ken Livingstone’s campaign!
Tara if you believe that the Conservative Party is so LGBT friendly, please do me a favour and call Tory HQ and ask them why Margate Conservative Councillor Ken Gregory is being allowed back into the Conservatives dispite the fact that he has not apologised to me for saying “WITH A BIT OF LUCK YOU’LL GET AIDS” and while you are at it ask them why they said nothing when Tory MP Sir Roger Gale branded Equal Marriage supporters “Millitant Homosexuals”? (Cllr J Worrow, former Conservative Councillor now Independent)
I wonder if Mr. Gregory would have got 4 months jail if he’d put it on a Tshirt , like the guy in the Peter Tatchell article. Probably not I suspect.
You are asking about RECORDS? What about the records of all the people around you thast you defend and support? Which party produces the most “nos” whenever a gay rights issues comes up? Which party has fought equality the hardest? Which party’s MPs have the worst record when ti comes to opposing our attempts at justice? Which party has put those MPs, with their constant opposition, into the highest positions in government?
How dare you call anyone else a hypocrite!
…..You wont get an answer to those questions from the vile turn coat Hewitt, now a Tory troll and stooge who is wheeled out periodically to parrot the Homophobic Tory mantra which is utter lies and subterfuge. I guarantee that there will be no Marriage equality before the 2015 election, which will return a Labour government who will then do the right thing…. If they are serious about Equality, a bill should have been tabled this year, but they are not and CallmeDave is now running scared of the blue rinse brigade in the shires and has no intention of bringing Equality just like he has abandoned Mansion Tax, Has given the very rich huge tax breaks and refused to close the loop holes being used by the rich to hold on to their billions while IDS guts the poor and helpless and removes £20 billion from the welfare budget. The sad fact is that they are still and always be the NASTY party and it is no surprise that this Hewitt being is a member of the Nasty party … for now!
And, which quislings like Tara and Ben seem to forget, what was the Tory votes on all these issues? On section 28, equalising the age of consent, gay adoption – which party consistantly produced the most nos?
Calling other gay people quislings is very bad. Supporting the centre right does not make someone a Nzai and you, Sparky, must be very bitter and twisted to think otherwise.
Quisling is a word for someone who turns against their own people. I’m quite happy to use it to describe people who have fought against our every last right.
I think it’s bitter and twisted to cover over homophobia and bigotry and pretend it didn’t happen
You might think that such behaviour as you state is bitter and twisted but it does not make your behaviour less so. It is unpleasant to gay people quislings.
Further, you demonstrate unpleasant vanity in conferring upon yourself the power to decide who speaks for “us” and who has turned against “us”.
Just your style to invoke Godwins Law when under pressure DeVilliers.
Section 28 was over 30 years ago.
For crying out loud, give it a rest.
If you want to bring up history, Labour were just as guilty of homophobia when they buried the Wolfenden report back in the ’60′s.
Learn your history. Wolfenden was 1957 Labour didn’t come to power till 1964 and gave time to a private members bill in 1967 that was the first step to equality.
No Gay person with a modicum of self respect can ever forget the vile bigot Maggie Thatcher and her homophobic Section 28 be it 30 or 300 years. The Tories have always been and will always be the Nasty party and Gay people will NEVER forget that and it will be passed down to our younger brethren that the Law and Justice Homophobic Tory party will always be nasty and never to be trusted….
They are currently destroying the UK in favour of themselves and their rich friends and the only good thing (if good id the word) about that is that they will be consigned to the wildernes salong with their lap dogs the LIBDEMS for another 30 years if not forever come 2015……
Thank you for an enjoyable, balanced, evidence-based, commentary on our supposed leaders.
GLB T rights are too often used as a ping-pong ball issue by aspirant politicians. “U” turns don’t seem to matter any more.
When politicians from all sides jump on the equality bandwagon, it’s a fair bet that EU law has outrun supposed populous views. They see the way the law is running against their poisonous beliefs & suddenly embrace equality.
If your local candidates at any election doesn’t give you any real choice; why don’t you get involved and help find a candidate you can vote for and believe in?
This wasn’t balanced at all, it was a partisan piece about how we should be thanking Labour to the hilt for what they did for ‘us’. The progress during the last 40 years is for all LGBT members to enjoy, we should never have to thank Labour for this. I should not have to thank a political party for wanting to be my self.
I agree with this article. It is the change in the perceptions that has been a big achievement and which has permitted the continued advance in gay equality.
I love the way even now these socialists that sat on their hands all those years now attempt to steal somebody else’s thunder.
Labour did sweet FA until they were kicked into touch by the European courts, and even then did the bare minimum in order to avoid taking on the religionists, and lumbered us with this half-baked attempt at a compromise of civil partnerships just to keep everyone quiet.
What ever people might say about Cameron, he has taken on a pretty formidable foe, but he never chose to avoid taking on the likes of the Church of England, and the Catholic church, not to mention the likes of the Muslims and Jews. The likes of Blair, Brown and Mandelson would never have dared to step over that line.
Cameron’s taken them on, somewhat, but Britons have yet to see fuller legal equality occur since Blair and Labour, so Mr. Howlett’s claims are not substantiated by any fruit (funny, given that the Conservative Party’s symbol is a tree).
Maybe when equal marriage does get passed into law, maybe Mr. Howlett can crow about how his party overcame its own history in a way that is beneficial to all Britons of all sexual orientations, no matter their individual party affiliations.
We were not in the EEC / EU in 1967, and neither the EEC or ECHR were much concerned with the mistreatment or persecution of homosexuals. If there was a factor that pushed the Labour Government into acting on the Wolfenden Report, it was the testimony in open court, imprisonment and subsequent campaigning of Peter Wildeblood (sp.?). The involvement of a peer of the realm, and harsh treatment of very young men for acts carried out in private shocked much of the nation, and the Government. The Dirk Bogarde film “Victim” also provided a compelling argument for de-criminalisation.
Whilst Labour has a better record than the Tories, it’s wrong to say “let us not forget that it was a Labour government which decriminalised homosexuality in 1967″. It was a private members Bill introduced in the House of Lords, and I think PM Harold Wilson even voted against it in the Commons. Fortunately it passed.
Yeah but no private members bill passes without government support. They allocate time for debate.
I don’t think he did vote against. There was a substantial majority in the Commons as also in the Lords on this. There were a number of private members’ bills but Leo Abse’s bill was given government time and the then Home Secretry spoke in favour of the Bill. As has been mentioned private members’ bills only succeed if given government time, otherwise they are simply ‘talked out’.
Given Cameron’s current difficulties with his hard right I think they should consider following a similar procedure on equal marriage since it is clear that a large Commons cross party majority exists.
Labour did this. Tories did that. In all this political stupidity, you’d be hard pressed to find mention of the many individuals from across the political spectrum, LGBT or not, who have fought for LGBT rights over the years.
This political point scoring is an insult to the people who often went through hellish court cases, media witch hunts and sometimes worse in order to win the rights we now have.
It is as ridiculous to say that Labour won us those rights (when they were just responding to LGBT activism and, often, ongoing court cases!) as it is for some Tories to claim marriage equality was their idea!
Stop using LGBT history and exploiting LGBT people to support your own political ends.
I think this article is a balanced piece that gives credit where it is due (Edwina Currie and David Cameron on marriage).
I agree with that stance. Nevertheless – and without taking away from that – alot of progress was made under Labour – against Tory opposition. Sometimes prompted by European court rulings; sometimes by EU legislation (negotiated by the Labour government at the time) but in others not – there was no European influence on legislation in goods and services, civil partnerships or parenting and adoption and hate crime and acccess to fertility treatments. It’s a very solid record.
I support equal marriage and have campaigned for it but it is not the only equality issue.
How unsurprising that any comments by regular users which fairly criticise labour are getting massively downrated while pro-labour comments by mostly one-off strangers praising labour are getting voted up quickly.
…Nothing suspicious here, folks.
Seriously, though, I found the “we did this 50 years ago!” part rather amusing. Labour have had plenty of chances to do better, but all we get every time are promises and supportive comments. It’s all very political, a word which has sadly come to have negative connotations for obvious enough reason.
ConDems are unpopular? Must be a conspiracy!
Some Cons have my admiration, such as Edwina and John Bercow, now Speaker, who was an outspoken and trenchant opponent of the equalisation of the age of consent, but who listened to the arguments, and did a well-publicised and dignified U-turn, giving interviews, saying “I was wrong”. It was as much a novelty for a politician to say that then as it is now.
I think this article for me more or less sums the position. It is more or less honest compared to that previous article by that Tory guy which was basically childlike and delusional.
I think the Tory party must bring in SSM a long time before 2015 if they are going to get the LGBT vote and even if they bring in SSM it is going to be pretty hard to forget the comments from some of the Tory MPs and the amount of Tory MPs that are in rebellion against SSM.
You know, my rights as a gay person are not the only things that concern me when I vote. I also think about tax. pension, welfare, defence policies, education, police and many other issues that affect me as much as they affect any other person regardless of their sex life.
I think many people come on here with this blinkered single direction.
They would vote for Atilla the Hun if he had a good LGBT rights manifesto.
Or even a Tory.
Tom Copley, Labour didn’t introduce CPs of its own volition but was following an ECHR ruling to implement such a law and the same can be said when openly gay men and women were finally allowed to serve in the military.
That said, even if equal marriage passes in Parliament, there is no guarantee it will survive in the House of Lords where I suspect there is far more opposition. The hate mongers of C4M will ensure vigorous, consistent lobbying of the House to make sure it fails.
The House of Lords has unelected Bishops, and I’ll bet my last penny on them being against equality.
I am not sure you have correct, Robert. The ECHR has not said anywhere that gay people have the right to enter into civil partnerships. This is one area where the left have pushed forward gay equality as part of their own programme.
The Tories are pushing their LGBT agenda to show they are no longer the “Nasty Party”, but they know they are unlikely to be able to carry out their “promises”, because their own back benchers will block them.
Dave et al are not sincere in their LGBT “reforms”, they want to be able to say “we tried, but…..” It’s called politicking, a game of bluff. If they carry through any reforms, it will be because they mis-calculated….
Playground politics at it’s most pointless.
“Ooo, my LGBT is bigger than yours”
“Oh, yeah?. I had an LGBT first”
“Mine is shiny”
“No it isn’t…”
Can the circus roll out of town now, please?
Lets be honest, Labour Party members are looking for excuses to attack a modern Conservative Party that supports equal marriage and other areas of equality. People like Tom and Alex Glasner can’t handle the fact that people like David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Maria Miller and Theresa May all made mistakes and admitted to them and are backing equal marriage.
Rather than attacking us, they should – as Ben Howlett rightfully said – be backing this Government in its efforts to continue to deliver equality for the LGB community. Otherwise, if they continue to skirt around the issue they will be no better than the likes of C4M et al.
Labour have a much better record on GLBT rights than the Tories. Fact. More Labour MPs will vote for marriage equality than Tories. Fact. Resistance to getting equality legislation through the Lords will come from the Tory side. Fact. Thank you, David Cameron. Thank you, Labour. Credit where it’s due.
No one will get an answer to their questions from the vile turn coat Hewitt, now a Tory troll and stooge who is wheeled out periodically to parrot the Homophobic Tory mantra which is utter lies and subterfuge. I guarantee that there will be no Marriage equality before the 2015 election, which will return a Labour government who will then do the right thing…. If they are serious about Equality, a bill should have been tabled this year, but they are not and CallmeDave is now running scared of the blue rinse brigade in the shires and has no intention of bringing Equality just like he has abandoned Mansion Tax, Has given the very rich huge tax breaks and refused to close the loop holes being used by the rich to hold on to their billions while IDS guts the poor and helpless and removes £20 billion from the welfare budget. The sad fact is that they are still and always be the NASTY party and it is no surprise that this Hewitt being is a member of the Nasty party … for now!
If some Tories think of the Police as “plebs”, can you imagine how they refer to Gay men & women away from the mics and cameras?
Or even their gay colleagues in private?
The point is not so much that the Tories were or are anti gay .They are instead unscrupulous peddlars of bigotry ,if it furthers their cause .They have in the past villified almost all minorities and scapegoated them when that approach appeared advantageous .