Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sexuality and Frontline Politics

Thanks to @adamfishpoet for flagging this story up with me. Junior Minister and Conservative MP Alan Duncan has written in the New Statesman about the David Laws incident and argues that 'I know what Laws has been through'. He begins be recounting a story of his selection that any Duncan watcher will be very familiar with but he then puts forward quite an interesting piece. There are some (@adamfishpoet included) who will criticise Duncan's article for not recognising that the Tories were themselves a major barrier to the change that brought about the social and legal shift that Duncan alludes to. Duncan does however acknowledge Tony Blair (although Labour would have been more accurate - I have it from Gov insiders that Blair was weak on reforms, particularly the Civil Partnership Act). He comments:

'What looked like a huge leap then prompts increasing bemusement today among a generation that wonders what all the fuss was about. It is much easier these days for someone to declare their sexuality. At least, it is if you are young and growing up among your friends, and much credit for the change must go to Tony Blair. His social agenda lowered the gay age of consent to 16, and brought in civil partnerships and gay adoption. Public attitudes have changed for the better.'

Duncan was an openly gay Tory when others didn't exist. He stuck his neck out oncCivil partnerships and although he remains at times a bit pompous, a bit posh and a bit too right wing, he remains a likable guy who has made a valuable contribution to the law on sexuality in this country. The piece is available in full here.

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