Saturday, August 28, 2010

And Things Are Heating Up In Britain

Two people from both sides of the pond came out this week...one, getting derided in the United States, was Ken Mehlman former chairman of the Republican Party. The other, getting derided as well in Britain, was the Conservative Minister of Prisons Crispin Blunt. On Friday he announced that he was leaving his wife Victoria and children because he has finally come to terms with his homosexuality. What is interesting to note is the reaction to Minister Blunts revelation. As opposed to the United States where Ken Mehlmans revelation is keeping him in front of the shotguns of the gay blogosphere, in the United Kingdom the opposite is playing out, reactions, in fact, seem to be more politically based.

According to the Telegraph, members of the Regiate Conservative Association - to which Minister Blunt is the chair - are upset because he hid his sexuality from them. Quoting some members of the association...
"Because he has lied for the last 13 years about his sexuality, questions will be asked over what else he has not been honest with constituents about."
 and...
"This, for a lot of people, is the final straw. I'm not uncomfortable with his sexuality, I'm unhappy about his lying, and that he stood for election knowing there was going to be this revelation."
Another added: "There is certainly one official line that this is a personal matter, but I think you will find that there are many who would not share that view.
"One constituent asked me, 'What is this clown up to?', while another said she was uncomfortable with the public nature of his revelations.
An interesting point is that Minister Blunt has used his seat in government, during the time when the Conservatives controlled the opposition bench during the majority Labour party years, as a bully pulpit against LGBT people. According to News of The World, Minister Blunt stated that homosexuality is not equivalent to heterosexuality, stated that gays were more of a threat to children, and claimed homosexuality is a choice.

Over the coming weeks there will be much discussion over Minister Blunts revelation, and most likely some political repercussions, and there will be charges of hypocrisy because of his previous votes. But thankfully, based on what I have read, though there is hard feelings on both sides of the issue in Britain, there is much more grace and professionalism than what we have seen in the United States on the issue of a former enemy of equality coming out.

To all my British readers...what do you think about this? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

2 comments:

  1. Outside of the homophobic strand of the Tory party and certain small sections of society, his homosexuality is not really an issue to anyone; more interesting to me is the fact that this happened now, when the Telegraph has been rumour-mongering about a gay cabinet minister (hinted by the same paper to be William Hague, our Foreign Secretary).

    I think the controversy just proves that his constituency party (the party members who select the candidate for each constituency) are more homophobic than he is. And the Telegraph and their allies in the press are using that to paint this picture of him.

    Also, it's quite telling that he's done this now he's in the Ministry of Justice, which is proving to be a liberal 'fifth column' against the right of the Tory party. He's in there with noted liberal Tory Ken Clarke (once a leadership candidate), the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the upper house Lord McNally and gay Tory Nick Herbert.

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  2. very interesting...thank you mtcm for your perspective and analysis on this issue...it is very helpful and appreciated!! :)

    Question though, I have been reading that the Tories are becoming more open to LGBT people, is that true, or is that just wishful thinking? And if a large portion of the party is homophobic, is their a chance of the party fracturing?

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