David Cameron is hosting a party at No 10 this week to celebrate Gay Pride season, as Gordon Brown did before him. And in one way this says something positive. The Conservatives, despite all Mr Cameron's efforts to bring the party into the modern world on social attitudes, still have some catching up to do. The withdrawal of the party from the centre-right bloc in the European Parliament aligned it with a coalition of right-wing parties, some of which are openly homophobic groupings. Chris Grayling's comments during the election campaign about gay couples and bed and breakfasts hardly confirmed that the party had changed. And in coalition, Mr Cameron appears to have rejected many of the progressive measures for gay equality put forward by the Liberal Democrats.
In another way, though, we find it regrettable that compartmentalism still rules. Is it not a little patronising in this day and age for gay people to be invited to No 10 as a minority group, rather than as successful individuals in their own right? As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has ended receptions for specific minority groups, preferring events that celebrate community rather than difference. It is an example that, with time, the Prime Minister would do well to follow.Reuse content