Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fry and Stonewell Boss Write and Walk from New 'Gay Friendly' Tories

Stephen Fry, along with other celebrities including Patrick Stewart, Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand has signed an open letter calling on the Tories to distance themselves from some of their new European allies. One of whom Michal Kaminski addressed a fringe event at the Tory party conference on the same day that LGBTory were to hold a first ever Conservative Conference Pride event on Manchester's Canal Street.

The letter said:

"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."

Speaking on Channel 4 News Fry said that the Tories were no longer the nasty party, but that he wasn't saying he would vote Tory or that he wouldn't but that the time had come for such loveless, misguided homophobia to be wiped out.

To have been speaking at the event was gay rights campaign group Stonewall's director Ben Summerskill. But he has dramatically refused to turn up boycotting the event at the last minute. He said:

"There is no doubt the progress that has been made in the last couple of years has genuinely been historic. It would churlish of anyone not to welcome the apology a couple of months ago over Section 28," said Summerskill.

"But the event tonight has been overshadowed by the presence, not just at conference but on the same platform as some senior members of the party, of people of such extreme and offensive views.

"And certainly there are people I've spoken to at the conference today, not just gay people but Jewish delegates as well, who share that viewpoint."
Asked to elaborate by channel 4 political commentator Cathy Newman on the reasons why he wasn't going to turn up at an event he was billed as the star speaker, Mr Summerskill said:

"You would have to draw your own conclusions about that."
Looks like the unchangeable spots of a leopard are starting to appear through all the slap that has been applied to deal with the public spotlight. Charles Tannock even had the opportunity live on Channel 4 news to condemn the homophobic and anti-Semitic nature of some of the Tory's new colleagues but denied they had ever held such views.

One final thought for Eric Pickles, if this is a sign of progression from the Conservative party, it is not just a cigarette paper between your position and mine as a Liberal Democrat. It may be a full fleet transporting Rizla papers worth.

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