Tories love gay people, trills PM who tried to restrict LGBT rights four times
THERESA MAY was branded a hypocrite over gay rights as she tried to wrap herself in the rainbow flag yesterday, with campaigners pointing to her appalling track record.
Ms May used the 50th anniversary of the partial repeal of anti-gay legislation to praise the Tories’ role on LGBT issues in recent years — having spent nearly 20 years fighting against gay rights herself.
In an article for Pink News to mark half a century since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act became law, the Prime Minister said she was proud of the party for passing equal marriage legislation, but acknowledged: “There will justifiably be scepticism about the positions taken and votes cast down through the years by the Conservative Party, and by me, compared to where we are now.”
However campaigners pointed to her appalling track record of voting against LGBT rights legislation (see panel, right) and said despite her warm words, she hadn’t really changed.
A 2001 newspaper interview when she was shadow universities minister resurfaced yesterday in which Ms May defended anti-gay laws in schools claiming “most parents want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there.”
Section 28 was a controversial amendment to local government legislation which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
She insisted at the time: “No head teacher has commented to me that they are not able to deal with homophobic bullying or discuss homosexuality, where it is appropriate, with young people.”
And this week Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Ms May to stand up to US President Donald Trump — who said he wants to ban transgender people from the military — on LGBT issues.
Mr Corbyn said: “In America, the Trump presidency has incited hatred and discrimination against LGBT people.
“Trump opposes gay marriage and his vice-president, Mike Pence, enacted a religious freedom Bill which legalised discrimination against LGBT people.
“Other world leaders have been unequivocal with the US president but not Theresa May, who has failed to challenge this in the strongest terms.”
Human rights activist Peter Tatchell told the Star: “Just earlier this year the government rejected the recommendations of the education committee that LGBT issues should be mandatory in every school in order to combat bullying and support LGBT pupils.
“I wrote to the Prime Minister earlier this week asking her to issue an apology and pay compensation to those who were convicted for same sex activities. I received a reply saying the matter had been referred to the Education Department.
“The quest for justice has nothing to do with the Education Department. It shows the contempt with which the Conservatives still hold the LGBT community.
“The government refused to amend equality laws to include religious institutions, which allows them to discriminate against LGBT people in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.”
The Downing Street press office had not responded to the Stars request for comment at time of going to print.
Last month, the PM’s commitment to gay rights was called into question over the £1 billion deal struck with the homophobic Democratic Unionist Party to keep her in Number 10.
1998 - Votes against reducing the homosexual age of consent from 18 to 16, in line with the heterosexual one
2002 - Votes against allowing gay couples to adopt (Adoption and Children Bill — Suitability Of Adopters)
2003 - Absent from a vote on the Local Government Bill — Maintain Prohibition on Promotion of Homosexuality (Section 28)
2008 - Threatens the rights of lesbian couples by voting to force clinics to consider the need for a “father and mother” before allowing women to seek IVF treatment
2010 - One of her first acts as home secretary is to make sure public bodies don’t have to actively try to reduce inequality