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David Cameron’s Top Gay Nick Herbert Is on a Mission to Save the Conservative Party’s Homo Image

David Cameron, probably likely your next British prime minster, is sending his top gay Nick Herbert, his shadow environmental secretary, to Poland to tell them to start being nicer to the homos. It’s all part of the Tories’ attempt to distance themselves from extremist leaders across Europe, which itself is an attempt to secure gay votes in the upcoming election. At the same time, Cameron is being pressured to oust Julian Lewis, the shadow minister for defense, because he was recently quite vocal about opposing lowering the age of consent for gay sex from 18 to 16 in 200, because of a supposed increased risk of transmitting HIV.

[Lewis] appeared to compare it with the decision to prevent service personnel aged under 18 from fighting on frontlines. Last night, Dr Lewis reiterated his view, telling The Independent that anyone aged 16 to 18 who had unprotected gay sex was “at risk, and potentially at risk of their lives”.

[…] Dr Lewis wrote last week: “There is a seriously increased risk of HIV infection from male homosexual activity. When it comes to legalising practices that involve serious risk, I believe the higher limit should apply. This is the reason we no longer allow 16- and 17-year-olds into frontline situations in the armed forces, for example.”

Dr Lewis, 58, has a history of voting against legislation enshrining gay rights. He opposed adoptions by gay couples and also battled against the repeal of Section 28 – a law enacted by Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government in 1988 to prevent schools from “promoting” homosexuality. Dr Lewis, does, however, back civil partnerships.

“One of the criticisms commonly made of gay relationships is that very often they do not last,” he explained in his letter. “It therefore seems obvious to me that, when a gay couple wish to commit to each other, by forming a permanent relationships, they should be encouraged and assisted in every way.”

All of this comes on the heels of Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, endorsing a bed and breakfast’s right to turn away gays. Man, it’s hard keeping homophobes in line.

(For those unfamiliar, in Britain “shadow secretaries” are the opposition party’s mirror for the leading party’s officials. They are, in some weird ode to the Queen set up we don’t quite fully get, officially recognized, but don’t exactly have much power.)

On:           Apr 22, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Louie

      “Probably likely your next British prime minster” Probably likely? Nice grammar.

      And I really effing hope not. Lib dems all the way.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lamar

      “Dr Lewis, does, however, back civil partnerships”, we gays should be wary of people like these. Often it is assumed that if someone supports civil partnerships then they are not homophobic but most people who support civil partnerships do so because they do not want gays ‘polluting’ marriage. It is especially obvious he is homophobic when he says that gay relationships often don’t, only 50% of hetero marriages survive so that’s rich coming from that breeder.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thebadpaul

      Lib Dems all the way. Never trust a tory. Clause 28 was just the tip of the iceberg under Tory rule. Conservatives systematically destroyed everything anyone believed in the UK.

      There are lots of other issues to look at but from LGBT rights perspective, UK still doesn’t have gay marriage. All those public schoolboys are still ashamed of what they got up to at Eaton so are unlikely to address gay rights of any kind.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paschal

      Just so eveyone knows, ”public schools” in the U.K. are not like ”public schools” in the U.S.A. They would be described as private schools in the U.S.A.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • S Fraser

      Sigh. If you guys don’t understand something, perhaps it would be better to research it rather than pretend to play know-it-all and then describe it as “weird.” I specifically refer to this:

      “(For those unfamiliar, in Britain “shadow secretaries” are the opposition party’s mirror for the leading party’s officials. They are, in some weird ode to the Queen set up we don’t quite fully get, officially recognized, but don’t exactly have much power.)”

      If you don’t get it, don’t talk about it. As an FYI, all people who sit in Parliament are elected Members of Parliament for their constituencies – like congress people sit for their districts. The Opposition party then says “if we were in Government, these would be the MPs who we would assign for this position, this position, and this position” – they literally shadow their counterpart from the majority government. They have as much power as any elected MP. It would be like saying Mitch McConnell would be the Secretary for State if the Republicans got in, so he’s the “shadow” Secretary of State. Hypothetical since the system doesn’t work that way in the US, but hopefully you guys get the point that it’s hardly a ‘weird ode to the Queen.’

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drums

      Fuck you, David Cameron. GO NICK CLEGG!!!!

      (For those not following British politics and wondering why the Lib Dems’ Nick Clegg would be a much better PM, a sample headline: “Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has said that children attending faith schools should be taught that homosexuality is “normal and harmless”.”)

      Apr 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79

      “(For those unfamiliar, in Britain “shadow secretaries” are the opposition party’s mirror for the leading party’s officials. They are, in some weird ode to the Queen set up we don’t quite fully get, officially recognized, but don’t exactly have much power.)”

      Shadow cabinets exist for two purposes. Firstly, having a shadow cabinet allows opposition parties to nominate senior party members who can specialise in a specific area, such as foreign policy, industry, education, health, etc.; this allows the opposition to publicly oppose the executive’s policies (where theyb feel appropriate) more effectively since almost all Commons and Lords debates are a matter of public record – as has to be the case in an open democracy.

      Secondly, the govenment (the executive) is entirely dependent upon the legislature, and is chosen from amongst the ranks of the MPs of whichever party or coalition holds a majority of Commons seats. This is in contrast to a US-style presidential system, where the executive is elected separately from the legislature. If the balance of power changes within the legislature due to an election or change in coalition, the government is replaced immediately (not after several months as in the USA) so opposition parties need a shadow cabinet in place to hit the ground running if/when they find themselves in power. So whereas in the US a cabinet is selected after the president has been elected (and can be made up of almost anyone) in the UK the cabinets are selected before the election, and have to be made up of Commons and Lords MPs. This gives UK voters an advantage: Americans had no idea who Obama would choose for his cabinet, but we already know the teams Brown, Clegg & Cameron have picked.

      Many countries that use the Westminster system, including Israel, India, Ireland, Malta and Singapore, are republics, so it has absolutely nothing to do with the UK being a monarchy. In fact there’s nothing stopping the UK from adopting a US-style presidential system, with the Prime Minister elected separately from the legislature.

      Apr 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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