We were intrigued to discover on the invaluable TheyWorkForYou website that new Equality Minister Theresa May "voted moderately against equal gay rights." Equality regardless of gender, race, sexual preference/identity is, after all, generally considered to be a good thing these days by all but a limited number of morons, and so you'd probably be safe in assuming that the Government would as a result wish to promote such a worthy ideal. You might therefore also assume that anyone thought suitable to the post of Equality Minister would vote very strongly for equal gay rights, wouldn't you?
Theresa May MP, Equality Minister - seems to not like gay people very much.
Our interest was piqued, so we ran a quick Google search using the request "Theresa May gay lesbian equality" and very rapidly found a document published by Pink News which lists some revealing facts on May - like, for example, the time in 1998 when she voted against equalising the age of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals. Then, in 2000, she voted against moves to repeal the notorious Section 28 (commonly known as Clause 28), a piece of legislation that banned local authorities from "promoting homosexuality" and effectively left health centres unable to provide sexual health advice to gays and made teachers afraid to prevent homophobic bullying of school children.
Mrs. May was voting in a way rather at odds with equality again in both 2001 and 2002, when she supported measures aimed at preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. There was a brief moment in 2004 when it looked like she might have given up her prejudice as - in common with the majority of the Conservative front bench - she voted in favour of civil partnerships, known to many as gay marriages; but it's worth noting that over the last few years the Tories have been attempting to attract the so-called pink vote and will say or do just about anything if they think someone will cross their box at the ballot, as has been the case with Prime Minister David Cameron when he apologised for Section 28 last year (this despite the fact that his record when it comes to gay rights isn't a great deal better than May's - he also voted against repealing Section 28). However, in the very same year, she didn't vote in any of the four votes that eventually led to the adoption of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, which allows those who have undergone gender correction surgery to legally change the gender recorded on their birth certificate and other documents.
In 2008, she voted in favour of an ultimately defeated bill which would have required couples seeking IVF treatment to provide a male role model - in other words, preventing lesbian couples from having children by this method (Cameron voted in favour of that one too, by the way).
No mainstream political party would discriminate against Jewish, black or Asian MPs in this day and age, but one does have to wonder - in view of the dubious voting records of both their leader and Equality Minister, as well as the decision to join the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the EU, thus allying themselves with the openly homophobic Polish Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc party which we have written about on this blog at some length - if the Conservatives are not yet as comfortable with homosexuality. Last week's election saw ten new Conservative homosexuals take seats in the Commons, but they may find they are merely tolerated in order to provide the illusion of equality rather than welcomed with open arms.
If you think Theresa May is unsuited to her new post, have a look at Sack Theresa - Calling for the resignation of the Women and Equalities Minister.