Monday, March 03, 2008

Irony of Alan Duncan's civil partnership...

Ironic that the first MP to take advantage of Labour's progressive civil partnership laws is a Conservative elected in 2001 on a manifesto which promised to keep Tory homophobic Section 28 legislation firmly in place.

I congratulate Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland on his news revealed on the website of my local paper, the Stamford Mercury.

It is unlikely that such historic and progressive laws to allow civil partnerships would ever have been passed by a Government of Mr Duncan's party - and certainly not under David Cameron's leadership.

As recently as 2003, Cameron himself voted against scrapping Section 28 which stigmatised homosexuals.

It was introduced in the Thatcher Government by Michael Howard - who went on to become the Tory Leader before David Cameron.

And when Labour advocated abolishing Section 28, Cameron attacked the Blair Government which he claimed was "obsessed with a fringe agenda".

In fairness to Alan Duncan, he has in the past paid tribute to Labour's record on equality.

I'm pleased that Mr Duncan felt able to 'come out' a couple of years ago and publicly declare his homosexuality.

The Civil Partnership laws have brought joy to thousands of same-sex couples who have made their decision to share their lives, their home, their finances and the care of their children or older relatives.

Yet until a couple of years ago, their relationships were invisible in the eyes of the law.

Labour's civil partnership laws were a historic step in giving respect and dignity to lesbians and gay men in Britain and built on Labour's record of equalising the age of consent, outlawing discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of sexual orientation, securing protection from homophobic hate crimes...and abolishing Section 28.

I'm delighted that so many people are benefitting from Labour's legislation - including Tory MPs!

1 comment:

Merseymike said...

Agree with what you have said although its fair to say that Cameron has shifted on these issues - apparently his wife is strongly in favour of equality. But the votes speak for themselves - most Tories did not support the changes.

However, Alan wasn't the first MP to have a civil partnership - the first Tory, yes. Ben Bradshaw and David Borrow have both had CP ceremonies.