I just learned a pretty staggering fact. If the Tories win the next election in Britain by just a one vote majority, there will likely be 15 openly gay Conservative MPs in the next Parliament. Last night I met Nick Herbert, an openly gay and married MP who will likely take over the environment portfolio in Cameron's cabinet if he is elected. Can you imagine a married gay couple in any cabinet in the US, Democrat or Republican? For a little icing on the cake, they, along with heterosexual couples, will now be allowed to get married in the august rooms of the Houses of Parliament.
In the US, there are no openly gay Republican representatives or Senators - fewer than in the past. The closet cases, like Larry Craig, are just sad shells of human beings, or being hounded out by homophobic primary campaigns, like Charlie Crist. Heck, the British Tories are far ahead of gay inclusion than the American Democrats - and support military service and full legal equality in relationships. And they sure have more courage in making the case.
Remind me why I moved to the land of the free? To lose freedoms? To watch conservatism calcify into anti-gay bigotry as one of its binding principles? To see a newly elected and allegedly moderate governor of Virginia actually rescind previous protections for gay people employed by state government - so that the gay people who work for their own government must live in constant fear of being fired solely for being gay?
The GOP is going backward so fast it's giving this Tory whiplash.
And at noon today, I'll be debating Maggie Gallagher on why conservatives should be inclusive of gay people. I'll do so after Nick Herbert explains why the British Tories believe that including gay people in the British Conservative Party, supporting their commitments to one another, and celebrating their service to their country in the military are essentially conservative ideas and are integral to the Tory plans to win the coming British election.
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