Sir: The selection of a homophobic candidate like Michael Portillo to fight the Kensington and Chelsea by-election is the moral equivalent of choosing a racist. It shows that the Tory party remains as bigoted and intolerant as ever.
The Conservatives would not dare to select someone who advocates discrimination against black people. Why, then, are they standing a candidate who supports discrimination against lesbians and gay men? And why is there no great media and public outcry over this bare-faced opposition to gay human rights?
During his period as an MP, Mr Portillo voted in favour of Section 28, which has resulted in the censorship of gay issues in schools and the denial of support to vulnerable gay teenagers. He also voted against an equal age of consent, endorsing the criminalisation of 16 and 17-year- old gay men.
As Defence Secretary, Mr Portillo upheld the ban on homosexuals in the military.
If any candidate advocated similar discrimination against the black community they would be deemed unfit for public office.
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