Cameron And The Gays

A senior Tory recently expressed sympathy on libertarian grounds for owners of bed and breakfasts to discriminate against gay couples in renting rooms. It was a clumsy statement but I see where the man was coming from. But the Tory attempt to win the gay vote in Britain was not helped by it. Nor will the defection of the founder of LGBTory, the wonderfully named Anastasia Beaumont-Bott:

"I feel guilty because as a gay woman affected by LGBT rights I am on record saying you should vote Conservative, and I want to reverse that," she said. "I want to go on record to say don't vote Conservative. I'd go as far to say that I'll vote Labour at this general election."

Johann Hari chronicles the "collapsing" of the Conservatives on gay outreach:

David Cameron's putative Home Secretary has just announced that he thinks B&Bs – places open for hire to the public – should, in practice, be legally permitted to put up signs saying "No Gays". How is this different to turning away black people or disabled people or Jewish people – except that Cameron would sack Grayling if he supported discrimination against them?

Meanwhile, Cameron has given two interviews to the gay press – and both have led him to tell shocking untruths, or demand the interview be stopped.

In his recent interview for Gay Times with a sympathetic former Tory researcher, Cameron offered a few tongue-tied answers defending his record – he supported the homophobic Section 28 laws until 2005, and included it in his personal election literature – before suddenly snapping that the cameras should be switched off, and adding: "Can we stop for a second?... I'm finding it... I'd almost like to start again from scratch... I'm finding the whole thing actually..." and then he petered out. No other issue has reduced him to such inarticulate stammering.

In his interview with me for Attitude, Cameron denied voting to ban gay people from having the chance to provide an adoptive home for children in care. When I showed him the vote in Hansard, he mumbled, "That's not my recollection."

The pile-on seems hopelessly unfair to me. The gay left is horrified, rather than encouraged, by the Tory party's big steps to include gay people in its party and policies. Hence this assault on p.c. grounds. I'd certainly encourage gay voters to see through this and decide on the spectrum of issues, gay and non-gay, that matter to them.