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

October 6, 2009 8:31 am

Author:

Share this Article

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– and for the invitation to Michal Kaminksy to attend Conservative party conference fringe events later today to be rescinded.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

Comments are closed

Latest

  • Comment It’s time to put the Green Belt back on the table

    It’s time to put the Green Belt back on the table

    The UK’s housing crisis has finally been recognised across the political spectrum as an issue that needs urgent attention. Yet despite this consensus, political inertia on housebuilding has seen subsequent governments fail to create policies that address the issue coherently and strategically. Labour’s recent Lyons Review demonstrates a commitment to house-building, with a target of constructing 200,000 homes a year. Yet while the Review recognises that the housing crisis is not evenly spread, requiring different solutions in different places, there is […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland ASLEF backs Neil Findlay for Scottish Labour leader

    ASLEF backs Neil Findlay for Scottish Labour leader

    Neil Findlay has become the first Scottish Labour leadership candidate to pick up Trade Union support. Rail union ASLEF have backed the MSP this afternoon, becoming the first union to formally endorse a candidate (although it looks like Unite will back Findlay too). Their General Secretary Mick Whelan released the following statement: “We are supporting Neil Findlay in his bid to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party and, we hope, First Minister in 2016, because he has the character, […]

    Read more →
  • Featured 5 things we learned from Labour’s PCC by-election victory

    5 things we learned from Labour’s PCC by-election victory

    I was genuinely concerned that Labour might lose the South Yorkshire PCC by-election. In recent weeks local MPs and candidates have been privately concerned by what they’d been hearing on the doorstep, and it seemed that there was a groundswell of support for UKIP – with one telling me it was a “perfect storm” for Labour. In the wake of the shocking Rotherham child abuse scandal, Shaun Wright’s resignation from the post (which Labour doesn’t believe in and has pledged […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Labour will treat disabled people with dignity and respect

    Labour will treat disabled people with dignity and respect

    Exactly a year ago when the last Remploy factories were closed, government ministers promised Remploy workers support to find new jobs. But one year on, it is clear that promise has been broken. A survey by the GMB union has found that only one in four former Remploy staff are in work. Those who are in jobs are often on shorter hours and less pay. I’ve met former Remploy workers from Yorkshire, Wales, and the North West who told me how they’ve been […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour wins South Yorkshire PCC By-election on first round

    Labour wins South Yorkshire PCC By-election on first round

    LABOUR WINS THE BYELECTION ON THE FIRST ROUND WITH 50.02% OF THE VOTE Labour spokesperson: “Nigel Farage said he was putting his tanks on our lawn. We took Ukip on and won. Let’s see if Cameron can do the same in Rochester and Strood. Disastrous result for the Tories coming so close to the English Democrats. On this and Heywood performance the Tories have no chance forming a majority.” Labour win Rotherham – the heart of the storm – by 800 votes, […]

    Read more →