Matt Hancock ridiculed after calling same-sex marriage ‘proudest moment’ hours after defending enemy of marriage equality Tony Abbott
Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock became a Twitter punchline Friday (September 4) after calling marriage equality “one of his proudest moments” less than a day after he excused ardent same-sex marriage opponent Tony Abbott.
Hancock took to Twitter the day after a car-crash interview over Abbott – newly-appointed UK trade envoy – and his history of homophobic and misogynist comments, to celebrate the roll-out of LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education in British schools.
“Fantastic that from this week, schools now teach LGBT-inclusive relationships and sex-ed,” he wrote.
“One of my proudest moments in Parliament was voting for same-sex marriage and I’m pleased that we’ve made this much-needed reform to our education system. #LoveIsLove.”
Fantastic that from this week, schools now teach LGBT-inclusive relationships & sex-ed.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) September 4, 2020
Hancock’s sudden clamour to celebrate LGBT+ rights advancements came in marked contrast to a car-crash interview given to Sky News’ Kay Burley the previous morning (September 3).
The health secretary was quizzed on since-substantiated rumours Tony Abbott will become a trade envoy, despite his history of derogatory comments towards women and LGBT+ people.
When it was put to him that the former Australian premier is “a homophobe and misogynist”, Hancock, who was wearing a rainbow NHS badge, clumsily replied: “He’s also an expert on trade.”
Naturally, Hancock’s tweet quickly became a lightning rod for derision.
— Wayne David (@WayneDavid81) September 4, 2020
— Dean McCullough (@thedeanlife) September 4, 2020
do you remember what you said yesterday????? lmao https://t.co/I6y7JiRSCd
— Jamie Windust (@jamie_windust) September 4, 2020
so why can’t you stand up for LGBT people when your government seeks to appoint someone who’s openly homophobic? you actually don’t care you’re just virtue seeking https://t.co/03b2zEVj12
— born in 1999, i am 18 years old (@aaronmasg) September 4, 2020
We haven’t forgotten you standing by the homophobe and misogynist Tony Abbott, Matt. It was yesterday. https://t.co/2JYQ32nhp6
— Dr. Jennie Bujold 🏳️🌈 (@JennieBujold) September 4, 2020
— Jack Duncan🔻 (@JackDunc1) September 4, 2020
Abbott’s pronounced history of anti-LGBT+ comments, such as saying that being gay “challenges […] the right order of things” or that children should only be raised by straight couples, has flared backlash from wearisome queer activists, lawmakers, journalists and other human beings capable of feeling a sense of humanity.
Such criticism has barely stung a handful of Conservative ministers, however, who have sought to dial down the criticism the rumoured appointment has drawn.
Liz Truss, who serves as president of the board of trade as well as equalities minister and trade secretary, called accusations against Abbott, a socially conservative Catholic, as “virtue signalling” from the left.