Peter Tatchell: Do the Tories support anti-gay discrimination by B&Bs or not?

Share
Related Topics

The shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling MP should apologise and retract his support for discrimination against gay couples by B&B owners. By endorsing their right to refuse accommodation to gay partners, he has stirred new doubts about the Conservatives' commitment to lesbian and gay equality – doubts reinforced by David Cameron's notable silence.

Many voters – gay and straight – will be disturbed by his failure to swiftly disown Mr Grayling's support for anti-gay discrimination. The Tory leader needs to clarify whether he agrees with Mr Grayling that B&B owners should have the right to turn away gay couples. Was Mr Grayling speaking for himself or for the Conservative Party? The public is entitled to know. Mr Grayling's position in the Shadow Cabinet is untenable. It is not acceptable for the Tories to have a shadow Home Secretary who supports homophobic discrimination and who defies the party's supposedly pro-gay rights policy. Mr Cameron should move Mr Grayling to a shadow post that does not involve equality issues.

This controversy is not just a gay rights issue. It concerns one of the basic principles of a democratic society: that everyone should be subject to the same laws and be given the same protection against discrimination. The Conservative Party's claim to have embraced this principle looks hollow. There is also more than a whiff of double standards. The Tories don't agree with B&Bs refusing accommodation to black or Jewish couples. If race discrimination is wrong, why is Mr Grayling saying that homophobic discrimination is right?

According to the equality laws, no one providing services to the public, such as B&B accommodation, has a right to discriminate. Mr Grayling is a leading Conservative and he opposes this legislation. He seems to want some people to be above the law. Many lesbians and gay men fear that if the Conservatives win the general election they will amend equality legislation to ease the restrictions on homophobic discrimination and permit further opt-outs by religious organisations and individuals. Mr Grayling has thus revealed the true face of Mr Cameron's modern Conservatism. It is is not nearly as liberal and gay-friendly as the Tory leader likes to proclaim. The Conservative Party conference has never once voted for gay equality. They don't have a single gay rights policy.

www.petertatchell.net

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Healthcare expertise

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Management, Communications and Fundraising

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Fifa president Sepp Blatter  

Fifa corruption arrests: A syndicate so removed from reality that it may yet destroy the thing it loves

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Since 2004, evening and weekend GP care has been provided by a variety of NHS, private and not-for-profit providers  

Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job

Emma Nash
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf