Current Affairs

Lib Dems attack Tory gay rights record

Tony Grew July 27, 2007
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The Liberal Democrats have marked the 40th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales by producing a report attacking the voting records of Conservative front benchers.

However, a Conservative spokesman accused them of getting their facts wrong.

The Lib Dem research found that 80% of the current Shadow Cabinet have voted against gay rights in the ten years since Labour took office.

Only 5% voted for legislation to allow transgender people to legally change sex.

The report also found that 85% of all Tory MPs voted against or abstained from the vote on the Sexual Orientation Regulations earlier this year.

The Lib Dems say that Tory leader David Cameron and key Shadow Cabinet collegaues William Hague, David Davis and George Osborne all voted against the repeal of Section 28 and against same-sex adoption.

Liberal Democrat Equality Spokesperson Jo Swinson MP said:

“That 80% the of the current shadow cabinet, appointed by David Cameron, have voted against significant LGBT rights legislation shows that his commitment to equality is paper thin.

“Worse still, David Cameron himself actively voted against the repeal of section 28 and against adoption by same sex couples.

“David Cameron’s 21st Century rhetoric can’t hide his party’s 19th Century principles.”

A Conservative spokesman told

“The Liberal Democrats have got their facts wrong. David Cameron abstained in the vote on section 28, he supports gay adoption and he has said civil partnerships should be recognised in the tax system.

“The Conservative Party has campaigned for equal treatment for the gay community and on the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality we should be celebrating what has been achieved since, not playing petty politics with this issue.”

The Lib Dems are calling for more action on homophobic bullying in schools, a single Equality Act and a public sector duty to promote equality.

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