Protest the homophobic equality minister

Sign the petition calling for her resignation here.

In the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat cabinet Theresa May has been appointed as Minister for Women and Equality.

Prior to this appointment her voting record on gay rights has included:

– Voting against further discussion on the repeal of section 28, preferring to let it stand;

– Voting against lowering the age of consent in homosexual relationships to 16;

– Voting against gay adoption rights; as well as numerous other votes that have offended both homosexual and heterosexual communities. For these reasons we do not feel she is appropriate for the post of Minister for Equality.

5 thoughts on “Protest the homophobic equality minister

  1. Theresa May was asked about this in Question Time – a live, political panel program – last thursday. Those of you in the UK can watch the exchange on the BBC website. (This was the last question of the program, so it is towards the end of the podcast.) She distanced herself from those views by interjecting that those votes had taken place ‘many years ago’ and that if she had the oportunity to vote on those issues again, she would ‘probably’ vote differently. She went on to explain and defend why she had changed her mind about adoption by homosexuals, and seemed passionate about tackling homophobic bullying in schools. There was room, within what she said, for thinking that she is still somewhat ambivalent about these issues, for sure (eg. are homosexual couples as good as heteros for adoptive children, or less good but better than no parents at all?; not to mention the ‘probably’ of how she would vote now), and that might be enough to keep the protest up. Or maybe a good thing to do would be to pressurise her to come clean on just where she stands on all these issues.

  2. Theresa May remains unfit for the role of Minister for Women and Equalities.

    Ian Tucker criticises the Facebook petition that continues to call for Theresa May to be removed from the role of Minister for Women and Equalities. (Cf. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/23/theresa-may-gay-rights-facebook) He claims that “its reaction perhaps helps illustrate how you often get little respect for changing your mind”. On the contrary, there are three reasons why this petition quite rightly continues, in spite of her professed change of mind.

    First, she changed her mind on gay adoption, and her professed reasons for doing so had nothing to do with a belief in equal gay rights. They had to do with the welfare of children in care. (Cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peAmygbh7CQ) Why should this particular change of mind, for this particular reason, give us any cause to think that Theresa May now believes in equal gay rights?

    Second, while I welcome the fact that, in 2004, she voted freely for civil partnerships, this is not evidence that she had, at that time, changed her mind on equal gay rights more generally. For, only a year prior, in 2003, she didn’t bother to turn up to vote for the repeal of Section 28, and, earlier in 2004, she didn’t bother to turn up to vote for the Gender Recognition Bill. Moreover, as recently as 2007, she didn’t bother to turn up to support the Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations Bill. Furthermore, in 2008, when she was given a free vote by her leader, she voted against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, thereby denying, to those same couples she had previously agreed could be civilly partnered, any rights of access to fertility treatment.

    Third, at a moment when LGBTQ Malawians face 14 years imprisonment, LGBTQ Ugandans face the death penalty, and a lesbian Iranian asylum-seeker is about to be deported from Britain to face torture, the public perception of the Minister for Equalities will make or break our ability to push for equal gay rights around the world. Indeed, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said as much to Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4’s PM last Thursday: “if we are going to win over other countries to our own values, we have to increasingly inspire them with how we represent those values ourselves”.

    Theresa May does not represent those values. She does not inspire them. Whenever the gauntlet of equal gay rights has been thrown down, Theresa May has invariably either run into hiding or paraded her homophobia. We need an inspirational champion of equal gay rights, not someone who begrudingly concedes them. Theresa May remains unfit for the role of Minister for Women and Equalities.

  3. Ian Tucker criticises the Facebook petition that continues to call for Theresa May to be removed from the role of Minister for Women and Equalities. (Cf. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/23/theresa-may-gay-rights-facebook) He claims that “its reaction perhaps helps illustrate how you often get little respect for changing your mind”. On the contrary, there are three reasons why this petition quite rightly continues, in spite of her professed change of mind.

    First, she changed her mind on gay adoption, and her professed reasons for doing so had nothing to do with a belief in equal gay rights. They had to do with the welfare of children in care. (Cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peAmygbh7CQ) Why should this particular change of mind, for this particular reason, give us any cause to think that Theresa May now believes in equal gay rights?

    Second, while I welcome the fact that, in 2004, she voted freely for civil partnerships, this is not evidence that she had, at that time, changed her mind on equal gay rights more generally. For, only a year prior, in 2003, she didn’t bother to turn up to vote for the repeal of Section 28, and, earlier in 2004, she didn’t bother to turn up to vote for the Gender Recognition Bill. Moreover, as recently as 2007, she didn’t bother to turn up to support the Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations Bill. Furthermore, in 2008, when she was given a free vote by her leader, she voted against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, thereby denying, to those same couples she had previously agreed could be civilly partnered, any rights of access to fertility treatment.

    Third, at a moment when LGBTQ Malawians face 14 years imprisonment, LGBTQ Ugandans face the death penalty, and a lesbian Iranian asylum-seeker is about to be deported from Britain to face torture, the public perception of the Minister for Equalities will make or break our ability to push for equal gay rights around the world. Indeed, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said as much to Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4’s PM last Thursday: “if we are going to win over other countries to our own values, we have to increasingly inspire them with how we represent those values ourselves”.

    Theresa May does not represent those values. She does not inspire them. Whenever the gauntlet of equal gay rights has been thrown down, Theresa May has invariably either run into hiding or paraded her homophobia. We need an inspirational champion of equal gay rights, not someone who begrudingly concedes them. Theresa May remains unfit for the role of Minister for Women and Equalities.

  4. NATC, I’m sorry to say that our over alert spam filter decided your comments were spam. I’m glad I had the chance to rescue this one, and I hope that you’ll let us know next time if a comment of yours seems to get lost. You can use the “contact us” link on the right side of our opening page.

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