David Cameron and Nick Clegg addressing Gay Pride luncheon at #10
Dayife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
When the Conservatives last had their hands on the tiller of power, none of their MPs would admit to being homosexual, they voted against lowering the age of consent for gay sex, and invented a law which made it illegal for schools to mention homosexuality.
How things change: Saturday, eight years after Alan Duncan became the first Tory MP to come out of his own volition, Nick Herbert, the openly gay Conservative policing minister, gave a speech at Pride London about “how the Tories have come a helluva long way”.
And that’s not all. His department, the Home Office, has chartered a float at this year’s event, which will wind its way down Oxford Street and Regent Street towards Trafalgar Square from 1pm.
Pride’s theme this year is “Paint the Town Ruby Red”, to mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Gay Liberation Front, which was formed after the Stonewall riots, when police clashed with gay demonstrators in New York…
Herbert said he wouldn’t be following the sartorial lead of Boris Johnson, who famously wore a pink stetson when leading Pride two years ago, and will march again on Saturday. “I’m not telling you what I’ll be wearing,” said Herbert, preferring to talk about how seriously the government was taking the reporting of homophobia as a hate crime…
Though David Cameron cannot attend himself, two weeks ago he held a reception for the organisers in the garden at Number 10. He has also charmed most of the LGBT groups with the coalition manifesto, which said the government will help schools deal with homophobic bullying, pressure other countries to support gay rights, push for international recognition of UK civil partnerships and stop deporting gay asylum seekers at risk of harm.
The coalition is so pro-gay that not only have they has set up a cross-government programme of work addressing LGBT policy, but they have promised “additional action for transgender equality” – exactly the sort of initiative the Tories used to mock Harriet Harman for daring to suggest when she held the equalities brief. To return to the Home Office float’s Shakespearean theme of yore: “The wheel is come full circle.”
Anyone out there think anything more than rank-and-file Republicans in the Log Cabin Club will lend support to parallel efforts in the GOUSA?
At least the Log Cabin Republicans have a sense of humor missing from the rest of the GOP. The Log Cabin’s L.A. chapter is celebrating with a Tea Bag Toss.
They’re the biggest chapter in the country and still not officially recognized by the state GOP.