Conservative conference is lending legitimacy to parties whose views on gay rights are anything but progressive

6th October, 2009 8:31 am

By Alex Smith / @alexsmith1982

A group of activists is today publishing this open letter (below), which calls on David Cameron’s Conservatives to reconsider their grouping with the Polish Law and Justice party – and for the invitation to Michal Kaminksy to attend Conservative party conference fringe events later today to be rescinded.

Dear Mr Cameron,

As the Conservative Party gathers in Manchester, just a few weeks after thousands marched for Pride, we want to share our concern that the Conservative conference is lending legitimacy to a group of political parties in Eastern Europe whose views on gay rights are anything but progressive.

We know you say that the Conservative Party’s history of opposing gay rights and supporting Section 28 has been left behind. But if your Conservative Party really cares about equality then you must recognise the need not just to condemn the views of the Polish Law and Justice Party but to stop them from being spread in Manchester and throughout Europe.

It is not just that your new Polish allies oppose gay marriage and adoption but that their vile rhetoric – branding homosexuality as a ‘pathology’, gays as ‘perverts’, and describing ‘the affirmation of homosexuality’ as ‘the downfall of civilisation’ – was used to whip up hate during their election campaign. Your Party’s decision to host an LGBT event at conference is a good step in the right direction. But it will seem empty – a two faced gesture – if in the same week you fawn over allies whose homophobia has no place in modern Manchester, in modern Britain, or in Europe.

Mr Cameron we want to believe the Conservative Party has really changed – please help us by rescinding the invite to the Polish Law and Justice Party and urging them either to change their views or quit your new European group.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Stewart
Stephen Fry
Jo Brand
Eddie Izzard
Tony Robinson
Arabella Weir
Steve Cram
Roberta Taylor
Angela Mason, OBE
Michael Cashman Labour MEP and President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights
Arlene McCarthy Labour MEP (North West)
Glenis Willmott, EPLP Leader
Allison Curbishley
Amy Lamé
Peter Guiness
Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary UNITE
Tony Woodley, Joint General Secretary UNITE
Billy Hayes, General Secretary CWU
Wes Streeting, NUS President
Dave Prentis Gen Sec UNISON

Latest

  • Comment Featured Naushabah Khan: We feel pride in our country so let’s use this to tackle Labour’s “Englishness problem”

    Naushabah Khan: We feel pride in our country so let’s use this to tackle Labour’s “Englishness problem”

    The reality of last year’s general election is that Labour’s failure to secure a victory in an England, suffering at the hands of UKIP, ultimately resulted in our defeat. As a parliamentary candidate in Rochester and Strood, for both the general election and by-election, caused by the defection of Mark Reckless to UKIP, I am all too aware of the public mood, that considered us out of touch with their lives and values. Both elections also revealed fascinating notions of nationalism, belonging and identity politics that as a […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Rachel Reeves: Queen’s Speech showed the typical Tory failure on pensions and infrastructure

    Rachel Reeves: Queen’s Speech showed the typical Tory failure on pensions and infrastructure

    Yesterday in Parliament we voted on the Government’s programme of legislation for the year ahead, as set out in the Queen’s Speech. The background to yesterday’s debate about its economic measures is the critical decision our country faces about its relationship with Europe. The evidence I have heard as a member of the Treasury Select Committee has left me more convinced than ever that a vote to leave would scupper any hopes and well-laid plans we might make for our […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Corbyn puts campaigns at heart of Labour staff reshuffle

    Corbyn puts campaigns at heart of Labour staff reshuffle

    Jeremy Corbyn has carried out a shake-up of the way the Labour Party operates with a review of the party’s internal structure and a reshuffle of his backroom staff. As the leader approaches nine months in the job, Simon Fletcher, chief of staff, will move to a new role of Director of Campaigns and Planning. While some have seen this as readying the party for a possible post-referendum snap election, it is seen internally as filling a more long-term brief – covering areas such […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Featured News Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband will hit the campaign trail together today as they champion the leadership the EU has shown on tackling climate change – and warn that a vote to leave would put recent progress “at risk”. It is the first public appearance that former leader Miliband has made with his successor, and comes in a week in which rumours circulated that Corbyn was trying to coax him back into the Shadow Cabinet. During last year’s leadership contest, Corbyn praised Miliband’s […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Chuka Umunna: Don’t take the polls for granted – we must defeat every argument from the desperate Leave campaign

    Chuka Umunna: Don’t take the polls for granted – we must defeat every argument from the desperate Leave campaign

    “Take Control” – that is the slogan of the faltering Vote Leave campaign.  I say “faltering” because they are by no means beaten. Any Labour supporter lulled by the current polls into thinking the Remain camp is on course to win need only cast their minds back to 10pm on Thursday 7 May 2015 – then, after a string of polls suggesting we were on the cusp of winning the last general election, we suffered a body blow and found […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit