Thursday, 8 April 2010

We're All David Cameron's Fags

When I first voted, I wasn't really concerned about who was going to be in power. I went for Labour and Lib Dem, because I fit the demographic perfectly, and my parents, who are both now Conservative-leaning, used to be very liberal back in the day.

But this time round, there's no way I could justify voting for Gordon Brown's government again, after the mess they've got us into. Even though the banks which plunged us into economic doom were much more part of Tony Blair's blinded optimism, or even a throwback to Thatcherist greed, Brown's a washed-up gravelface with little charisma and a glass eye.

In comes David Cameron, so shiny and cherub-faced. So warm, so outspoken, so keen on 'change'. He is charming. So bloody charming, in fact, that it has taken me until now to decide that I cannot and will not vote for him to lead this country. He's got a convincing argument, claiming that he's fighting the election for the 'Great Ignored', a catch-all term for any disenfranchised people in the country. But he's lying. He does not give two figs about those outside of his own niche of society. And here's how I know:

I identify as LGBTQ, an ever-increasing acronym which truly reflects how Western society is accepting enough to allow an increasing amount of people to realise that they identify as something other than heterosexual. I know we've got many pressing matters to deal with this election: economics and the war especially. But I've paid attention to party leaders' stance on gay rights. I'm not going to warble on about the B+B which refused two men a night's sleep. This incident is more a discussion of whether a B+B is a business or a home, under the jurisdiction of the homeowners or business law. But I will explain how Cameron's negligence of gay rights spells trouble for all of us, and by 'us', I mean every person on this little island.

Back in 2008, aaall that time ago, David Cameron voted on Section 28. Along with William Hague, he voted against the 'promotion' of LGBTQ issues in school. He voted against vital education resources for young people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, refusing to acknowledge that young gay people need sex education as much as their straight counterparts. Even though gay teenagers are as much at risk of STIs and sexual abuse as their straight counterparts, it seems that straight sex-education is allowed because, well, not because DC wants teen pregnancy, it's just that it's a visible problem. But this was all years ago. Why am I complaining now? Because he's just gone and said that 'gay' people are part of his 'Great Ignored'. Based on his past vote against gay sex education, his refusal to use his jurisdiction in Europe to stop homophobia and his inability to coherently explain his stance on gay rights, it's clearly a lie.

This graph details how the Tory and Labour cabinets have voted on gay rights For more statistics, click here.

An article highlighting this on the Guardian's Comment is Free site shocked me. Well, not the article itself, written by Tamsin Omond, but the comments. A usually liberal readership responded with the usual Daily Mail responses. Many of the highest-rated comments went along the lines of: Dave Cameron's weak on gay rights, but what's that got to do with me? Haven't we got gay rights already? Why do gay people need all this representation?

Well, here are your answers:

LGBTQ people, as with other minorities, need special recognition because theyare still disregarded, stereotyped and marginalised. Heteros won't necessarily be as aware of this as LGBTQ people are, and even if one is not 'actively' homophobic, by refusing to acknowledge this particular need for representation or by refusing to be upset about discrimination, one contributes to the problem of homophobia.

And yes, it is a problem. People in this country are denied employment, bullied, bashed and even murdered because of their sexual orientation. And it's not only a problem for LGBTQ people, as it's being endorsed by Cameron and his party. It's indicative of the way the Tories feel about all marginalised groups.

Discrimination against LGBTQ people is being condoned by David Cameron, and his top party members. At the moment, it may seem that this isn't too bad, that it won't affect the great majority of 'us' if the Conservatives come to power. But why does anyone who's not a whiteboy from an Etonian background living in south-west London with a 2.4 family think that they're safe from Cameron's ignorance, inconsistency and negligence?

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