What a contrast. A few weeks ago, Clegg announced a very competent set of policies that address the inequalities that homosexuals still face. Whilst Cameron does support the law that would enable asylum seekers to settle here if they are fleeing prosecution because of their sexual orientation, he is less committed to removing the ban that stops homosexuals and bisexuals from giving blood due to the scare of AIDS. Instead, he says that he has to wait for a report to decide whether we can remove the ban. Why does he need a report to see how wrong the ban is? It is pretty obvious that there is no scientific basis to it – it is just pure homophobia. All the blood is screened anyway, heterosexuals have many AIDS’ sufferers too. It is pretty simple, as Clegg showed, the ban should be removed.
When it comes to the issue of homophobic violence, the old let some ‘magical’ cultural change dust do the work instead of the state was employed in his discourse. Cultural change is fundamental, however, it only works as long as there is a means of achieving it. I am always bemused when people use the ‘magical’ cultural change argument in response to those who desire state action to help bring about that cultural change. Yes, legislation is not the answer to all change, however, it is a big part in assisting cultural change. There has to be a method behind mobilising change, just simply talking about it does little.
The article by Johann Hari that this blog is based on has an interesting point around faith schools too, this is something that Nick Clegg should take into account before imposing homosexual teaching in faith schools. There is a lot of research that shows that if the Tories idea of giving money to those who want to run their own schools was implemented, mainly religious groups and fundamentalists would take up the offer, who are most likely to be homophobic. Thus, policies by the Tories, as well as their inability to state how they would achieve cultural change, would actually appear to run the risk of making homophobic violence worse.
As stated previously in my blog, it is important to remember the history of Cameron’s attitude and voting record towards homosexual rights, especially in terms of Section 28. No matter what apology he issues now, you always have to doubt his pro homosexual rights rhetoric when considering that he was an avid supporter of the Section and other anti homosexual laws, even as late as 2008. LabourList have a nice little piece on Cameron’s voting record on homosexual rights that further illustrates the doubts one must have when viewing the dramatic ‘change’ in position Cameron has made of late in terms of his stance towards homophobia.
His answers on Europe show how little he really cares about homosexual rights. He tries to claim that whilst they do not agree with their new European partners extreme views on homosexuals (which is debatable), it is the price to pay for:
“an open, flexible, trading Europe, rather than the endless progress towards a more federalised Europe”.
He, nor the Tories, will ever truly change…