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Sun poll asks ‘Should gay people be Cabinet ministers?’

Jessica Geen June 2, 2010
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A YouGov poll in the Sun newspaper has provoked anger by asking readers whether gay people should be allowed to serve as Cabinet ministers.

The poll, commissioned in the wake of David Laws’ resignation, asked 958 readers two questions about the story. The third question was “Should gay people be cabinet ministers?”

Mr Laws resigned at the weekend after it was revealed he wrongly claimed expenses which were paid to his secret boyfriend.

He said in a statement yesterday he had found it “too difficult” to come out and had kept the relationship secret from even his family and friends.

The newspaper’s poll found that its readers overwhelmingly did not have a problem with gay Cabinet ministers.

Thirteen per cent said gay ministers were a good thing, 76 per cent said they did not mind and only five per cent said they were against.

News of the poll spread on Twitter yesterday, with users questioning why it had been commissioned.

Some compared the question to the BBC’s now notorious ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’ debate, while gay journalist Patrick Strudwick accused the newspaper’s editors of being homophobic.

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill told “First, it doesn’t surprise us that over 90 per cent of readers said yes.

“It must have been a bit of a disappointment to the Sun journalists who were silly enough to ask the question.

“Only just over a decade ago, the Sun claimed Britain was being run by a gay mafia. This suggests it is more out of touch with its readers than it likes to think.”

The Sun, which recently switched its allegiance from Labour to the Tories, is Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper.

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