Andrea Leadsom MP, one of the three remaining candidates in the race to be the next Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party fails to respond to LGBT Tory about her views on LGBT issues.
LGBTory is the affiliated national organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Conservatives who provide an LGBT voice within the party, and a Conservative voice in the LGBT community.
LGBTory asked each current leadership candidate, to provide a short statement on why members of the LGBT+ community should support them. Despite several requests Andrea Leadom failed to respond. She ‘positively abstained’ on equal marrinage in 2013, voting both in favour and against while citing the views of her constituents. She said at the time: “This is to reflect my support for the genuine love and commitment of same sex partners, but also to register my protest at the unacceptability of the timing and wording of this legislation, as well as to represent the concerns of so many of my constituents who feel very deeply that this proposal is simply wrong.”
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP, said: “When I launched my campaign for the leadership I set out my belief in building a country that works for everyone. Central to that vision is a commitment to equality, and I will always stand up for the rights of LGBT people.
“I supported Civil Partnerships in 2004, and was proud to sponsor the legislation that introduced full marriage equality in 2013 because I believe marriage should be for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. I didn’t believe the State should perpetuate discrimination and prejudice against LGBT people. That’s why equal marriage was a hugely significant social reform. And it also made a powerful and important statement that as a country we value and respect everyone.
“For me, equality is about fairness. It is simply wrong for anyone to face discrimination or abuse because of who they are or who they love. A Conservative Government under my leadership would be unequivocally committed to supporting LGBT people, and continuing the vital task of tackling hate crime, homophobia and transphobia – both in the UK and around the world.
“I firmly believe in an open, inclusive, One Nation agenda of social reform which will change our country for the better. That is what I would offer as Prime Minister.”
A spokesman for the Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP said: “Michael is proud to have voted in favour of equal marriage. As Prime Minister, he would continue to stand up for LGBTQ+ rights at home and abroad.
Michael Gove’s leadership team also pointed to his leadership launch speech, which included a specific reference to supporting equality, diversity and LGBT+ issues:
“We need, too, a big and bold vision to ensure that Britain continues to be the most decent and gentle country in the world. A place known for its tolerance. Where we treat each other with kindness and respect. In the Britain I want to build, where we live, how we love, the religions we follow, the places we come from – these must be causes of celebration and joy, not division and suspicion. In his premiership, David Cameron made great strides on this – not least by making it possible for gay people to marry the people they love.”
It is LGBTory’s view that it is vital that the next leader of the Conservative Party, and Prime Minister, continues the work of David Cameron to improve LGBT+ rights; tackle biphobia, transpobia, homophobia and discrimination; right historical wrongs; and act as a strong voice for LGBT+ rights internationally.
Chairman of LGBTory, Colm Howard-Lloyd, said: “David Cameron steps down as Prime Minister leaving an outstanding record of furthering LGBT+ rights in the UK, and the world.
“The new Conservative Party leader, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, must have a good record on LGBT rights, and build on Cameron’s work to improve equality in UK and around the world. I am pleased that those candidates that responded to us have set out a vision that will continue the Conservative Party being a party of equality. LGBTory looks forward to the opportunity of working as closely with the next Prime Minister as we have done with the current.”
The next candidate to be eliminated will be announced at 5pm this afternoon (July 7).