Monday, June 16, 2008

David Davis and Gay Rights

I wasn't going to post anything until tomorrow, but I am so angry at an attempt by the Gay rights group Stonewall (aided by their puppet, little Ben Bradshaw) to paint David Davis as some sort of anti-gay bigot, that I feel I have to respond. Stonewall are sending round an email slagging off David to various of the well known people who have publicly supported his stand on 42 days in an attempt to try to paint him in an unflattering light.**

As you all know by now, yesterday I entered into a civil partnership. We invited a number of friends and family to attend, one of whom was David Davis. It would have been totally understandable if David had pulled out as he has rather a lot of things on his mind at the moment. But not a bit of it. He rang me at mid-day to say he was on his way but he was worried he would be late and didn't want to arrive in the middle of ceremony and upstage it.

David also played a part in the proceedings, and I have been told by several people that he was seen to 'well up' a bit during the ceremony. Having spent the last few days broadcasting to the nation that David "doesn't do emotion" one can only assume he had a bit of grit in his eye!

I could give you countless examples of proof of David's support over the years for gay people, starting from when he was at school where he protected a gay pupil from the local bully to helping Michael Brown when he had troubles with the News of the World. He also proposed my application to get on the candidates list in 2003 and appointed me his chief of staff.

Stonewall reckon he has an anti-gay voting record. They are judging individual votes without looking at the context. He and I have had disagreements about some of these votes, but they do not make him anti-gay. He hasn't got an anti-gay bone in his body, and if he had, I wouldn't have supported him for the leadership.

Ben Bradshaw slags David off for voting against civil partnerships (I am not able to check this out at the moment) but I am as certain as I can be that having attended two civil partnerships (one more than me!) and been so obviously moved at mine yesterday, that if he had to vote on it again, he might vote in a different way.

**UPDATE: Stonewall have been in touch to say an email was sent out to one prominent person who requested information on DD's voting record on this, but as far as they are aware, not to others. However, I am aware of several other high profile people who have received emails along these lines too, albeit not directly from Stonewall. It is clear that there is some sort of briefing operation going on here, as I doubt Ben Bradshaw's letter to The Guardian was done off his own bat.

UPDATE:Two other things related to this have just come to mind. When Ashley Crossley was in trouble in Falmouth and Camborne after a bitterly homophobic campaign, David not went down to support him, he then appointed him to a Head of Research post on his leadership campaign.

Perhaps more tellingly, David appointed Alan Duncan to speak for the Conservatives on the Civil Partnerships Bill in 2004 thereby giving it his seal of approval. His recollection is that he was away the evening of the vote though.

80 comments:

John said...

First, i hope this doesn't sour a happy event for you.

Second, and more to the point, Davis' voting record is a matter of record. It doesn't necessarily reflect his views. No doubt many Tory MPs aren't as viscerally opposed to 42 days, if at all, and yet have voted according to the Part line, and their perception of their constituents wishes.

Stonewall exists as an organisation which promotes equality and opposes bigotry and prejudice.

In essence, Stonewall should be attacking the voting patterns of people who purport to be normal (ie not bigoted), and yet vote for abnormal policies (like ones opposed to equality).

If their attacks are against Davis' person, then they're wrong; if they're against his voting patterns they are in order, and shouldn't be taken personally.

Perhaps he has voted against his conscience on these issues - if so, as a friend, you have every right to encourage him to talk about that in public.

Best wishes anyway (they say the first 25 years are the worst!)

Jilted John said...

It's telling that there seems to be a presumption by groups such as Stonewall that gays, like ethnic minorities, belong on the left and should stay on the left (Section 28 is the usual justification trotted out for this). People who think like that hate the idea of gays on the right, because the second there are enough, it becomes much harder to bandy around accusations of homophobia (ditto people with differently coloured skin.)

I doubt we've reached the stage yet where sexuality is irrelevant to politics, but it can't be far off, surely? Hope so, as I'm a bit tired of people assuming that I'm homophobic because I vote conservative.

Anonymous said...

Personally I can't stand organisations such as Stonewall, they cause so much hassle by constantly accuse the most minute things of being homophobic, and indeed it's groups like that who make people think that all gays want some sort of special treatment because of their sexual orientation which is far from true.

machiavelli said...

I suspect the gay branch of Labour (sorry, I mean the impartial Stonewall) googled "David Davies" by mistake.

Happens quite a bit...

S. Dowe said...

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=David_Davis&mpc=Haltemprice+%26amp%3B+Howden&dmp=826&display=motions

DD may feel differently but his voting record on the issue can be easily attacked.

Darren said...

Sounds a bit like special pleading to me Iain. DD is an old school Tory with reactionary views about homosexuality which, while not amounting to homophobia, are not exactly progressive either. Bradshaw was merely alerting people to the fact that those quick to champion him as a libertarian might want to check the facts first...

Anonymous said...

Iain, Congrats on your civil partnership.

Is it possible you could find out the truth about six South Tyneside Councillors crossing the floor to Labour?

3 Lib Dems, Cllr Atkinson, Cllr McKie and Cllr Abbott.

2 Real Independents, Cllr Haram and Cllr Elsom, and Independent Councillor, Cllr Defty.

If this is true? I feel sorry for the people who voted them in Office.

Ferret said...

Well, to be fair Iain, it is slightly hypocritical to bang on about liberty when you've voted against giving gays the same liberties given to heterosexuals on almost every occassion it has ever come to a vote (including equalising the age of consent and introducing civil partnerships).

I'm quite sure David Davis is not 'anti-gay' – but I don't think thats what he was being accused of, so you're constructing something of a straw man there. He is being accused of only being in favour of liberty when it suits him. And given that he's claiming to be a principled politician, its perfectly reasonable that others question just how strongly (or not) he's actually applied those principles on issues where his instincts lie elsewhere.

Boyce said...

I'm not sure if your own connections with David Davis aren't clouding your view here Iain - the fact is it's how the MP votes that affects Joe Public, not how he treats homosexuals in person, and DD does have a pretty grubby voting record on this issue and it's right that this should be scrutinised.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could set up a gay people for DD campaign?

Browned off said...

Ben Bradshaw is a professional spinner and deceiver, he should be exposed (fnarr fnarr). PS Darren - how cute!

canvas said...

Iain, you do you always have this HUGE knee jerk reaction to things?

Why don't you ever think things through carefully and calmly before you respond? Shocking Tory habit.

:)

All I know is that David Davis is pro-hanging.

Not good at all. I suspect David David is busy fighting the fruit and veg man for the safe Tory seat in a pointless by-election that cost taxpayers lots of money?

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Doesn't this lead nicely to the question: If you are going to attack him, Ben Bradshaw and Labour, why aren't you putting up a candidate?

Seems strange to attack through a third party but be too afraid to actually stand against your opponent - Oh, hold on, it's Gordon Brown, isn't it?

Now tell us about your stag night then Iain? Come on, any Tory Sleaze?

Big Pete said...

I have had this discussion on another forum (very gay, not so political.)

While issues like section 28 speak for themselves, It is always important to take sources like public whip with a pinch of salt. Among the topics they quote as howing DD to be anti gay, they include a vote on abolishing hereditary peers, and several on unmarried adoption.

Quite what these issues have to do with being gay I don't know. (Am I required to hand my queer membership card back in if I liked the hereditary house of lords?)

canvas said...

Why are Tories SO reactionary? Weird.

Calm down dear and think about it...

DD has conflicting views about 'liberty'.
It's a good thing DD is out of the shadow cabinet now rather than causing trouble later.

Liam Fox will be the next trouble maker - the writing is on the wall. He is so untrustworthy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but surely you can't will the ends without willing the means. 'Twas ever thus with the Conservative Party - it's why the only legislation on race equality, and equality for lesbian and gay people, has been brought in by Labour (something which may serve to give an answer to the previous comment that people assume that only people on the Left are in favour of equalities).

Shaun said...

Labour can't or won't stand a candidate against him but their supporters will take the opportunity to smear DD anyway. Its loathesome but perfectly predictable.

What was equally loathsome and altogether avoidable were the despicable smears from 'conservative sources' and members of the commentariat that Davis was either insane, having a mid-life crisis or show boating. If we are really so far gone that the mainstream considers making a stand on principle to be insanity then I do despair a bit.

As for the specifics would it be remiss to suggest that you are ideally positioned to distribute a rebuttal letter to broadly the same list? I know its unlikely, but they may not all read the blog...

Anonymous said...

What on earth are you on about Iain?

Davis voted against civil partnerships, he voted against the right for gay people to serve in the military, voted against gay adoption and he voted against the repeal of Section 28.

What is there you can possibly defend?

This is just another case of you sticking up for your repugnant friends rather than doing the right thing.

Davis' record on gay rights and capital punishment show us all how anti-civil liberties the man really is.

londonerr said...

I'm not surprised about this attack, we can expect more to come. It's a well known Labour tactic to play the man and not the ball. They won't debate the issues, so instead attempt to obfuscate and alienate their opponent from the public.

dehautenbas said...

I'm gay but loathe Stonewall - who always claim to represent me without ever asking. Their whiney line always seems to be "let's celebrate our victimhood". Being gay is a small part of a person's identity which these schmucks don't seem to understand. At least Bendy Bradshaw was elected by someone - Lord help us! - but it's sad that voters have such low expectations. It was hilarious to see the prissy little wuss when he had to deal with the big butch fishermen of Fleetwood over the government's support for the EU killing their industry.

verity said...

Stonewall does not fight "bigotry and prejudice". Stonewall exists to promote itself and get funding.

Jilted John - That's an interesting perception, and you are right. There does appear to be a perception, perhaps deliberately dripped into the national consciousness, that gay people are on the left.

Darren, forgive me, but I don't understand your post. Is there now a law that demands that people be "progressive" in their beliefs? Many people posting here are for continuity and conservatism and we aren't interested in being "progressive".

My gay friends are all firmly on the right. They are all capitalists down to their toes. They drive swanky cars. They all vote Republican. They're witty. (This is a prime marker of a conservative. The deadly left just isn't funny.)

Canvas - I hadn't known that Davis is pro-hanging. Now I am more in love with him than ever.

Canvas has a fluid mind. It dribbles out of both ears.

Anon 4:47 suggests a "Gays for Davis" group. - This is exactly the kind of destructive thinking I loathe. Why should gays have to have opinions as a group? They're individuals, for God's sakes! I despair.

niconoclast said...

Sad that the Homintern have hijacked the tory party.Part of their long mince through the institutions....

Anonymous said...

Newsflash people: being opposed to gay adoption and/or civil partnerships does not make one "anti-civil liberties".

In particular, having or adopting children is not a human right, and can hardly be compared with the right to be detained without charge.

Not for the first time, Nu-Lab barks "jump" and the pathetically transparent squeak "how high?"

Thanks Iain, for continuing to support one of the Conservative Party's true gems.

Daniel said...

Sorry, Iain. He may very well have been there for you and I have no doubt at all as to the sincerity of his reaction at your CP, but, his voting record speaks for itself.

And his record is such that he

1) voted against the repeal of s28,

2) voted against Gay people in the military,

3) voted against CPs,

4) voted against Gay adoption.

5) Voted against equal age of consent

6) Voted against or was absent from the Goods/Services equality act.

As a member of the public I can only let that record speak for itself. To the vast majority of Gay people, like me, it looks very much like he wants us to be second class citizens. On not one single issue has he voted for progressive change for Gay people. If that's pandering to the party-line, then I'm afraid it makes him a monumental hypocrite, and I'm not sure how you can defend him on this issue.

On a much lighter note, I hope you had a fabulous day yesterday and it was everything you and John wanted and expected it would be.

Best Wishes.

Council House Tory said...

congrats to you.

Labour don't want to stand against DD, but have to attack him somehow.

first, they used murdoch and his whelp mackenzie, now stonewall.

there'll be more to come i'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Ben Summerskill, for all the good work Stonewall do in fighting homophobia, is lest we forget a former Labour councillor. Attacking the eeeeevil Tory is what this sort of dreary type does.

I hate this arrogant presumption that gay people should only think about the world in terms of their sexuality, and thus automatically fall into the arms of the left. The same sort of thinking was done a few weeks back by Alibhai Brown saying black people who dare to vote Tory were Uncle Toms.

Don't these people stop to think that gay people and ethnic minorities are also home-owners, commuters, taxpayers, consumers, crime victims, hospital-users and all the rest of it at the same time, and might care much more about those things than our victimhoods imposed on us by the left. Or would it be a bit messy if we all slipped out of our nice cosy pigeonholes and thought for ourselves for once?

DD's resignation centres upon the authoritarian state being imposed by Labour. Section 28 and civil partnerships are not the centrepiece.

Pete Wass said...

A couple of points for anonymous.

British adoption law never referred to sexuality. Blair's attempt to pait it as such was both patronising, and an attempt to hide the fact that he wasn't addressing the real inequality which is marriage law.

Capital punishment is not anti civil liberties. I have never heard a serious supporter of capital pnishment claim that the death penalty should be applied without the accused receiving a fair and just trial beforehand.

Rachel said...

Thanks Iain, good to have your point of view on things.

I hope that you had a truly joyful weekend and how exciting about seeing the magazine published - I love that moment when a new launch comes off the press and you can hold it in your hands for the first time!

sarah said...

I'm sure David Davis' support and friendship for the gay men and lesbians he actually knows and likes is not in question - but Iain, if he can't carry that understanding across into public policy and use his vote to support the extension of the same rights available to straight couples to gay couples, that's a fat lot of good to those of us whom he doesn't know?.

"I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black..."

BenSix said...

Iain, he was in favour of Section 28 and opposed the lowering of the age of consent.

Homophopic? I can't be sure. Against equal rights and civil liberty? Yes.

Dave said...

Iain, this is what stops many gay men voting Tory. I'm glad he was there in a personal capacity for you, but he'd never stand up for my rights as a gay man in the House.
I'm no fan of Stonewall but I think they're right this time. DD stands for Freedom for all... well the straight voters anyway.

Conand said...

Welcome back Iain. I was really hoping you'd counter Bradshaw's smear campaign. Thanks for doing it so soon.
Labour isn't selective about issues of liberty, it almost always tries to limit freedom.
I know that they liberalised some areas relating to homosexual people.
However they also curtailed homosexual people's freedoms to protest, and other rights and protections as much as they curtailed them for anybody else. (egalite!)
Shami Chakrarbti has made it quite clear that David Davis doesn't agree with the whole policy platform of Liberty. She's also clear that his stance is in no way diminished by that.
Sorry Ben Bradshaw, go back to the drawingboard and give us an example of when 42 days was needed. Don't say it might be needed in the future, emergency powers can always be invoked anyway.

canvas we react strongly because these are important arguments. If we didn't care so much there wouldn't be much point in getting involved.
In relation to being 'reactionary' or reactive (I think thats what you meant), nobody can argue that Davis hasn't been proactive in recent days.

Splashitallover said...

Did DD vote against civil partnerships?

If he did, that makes him a hypocrite.

Sorry Iain, got to call it as I see it.

It's easy to be "pro-your mates", whatever they are, it's his attitude as a legislator that matters, and that is measured in votes.

It would be equally hypocritical if he voted in favour of civil partnerships but refused to attend them in person.

Liberty and equality are indivisible.

Auntie Flo' said...

Helena Kennedy QC and Labour Peer and Tony Benn are backing David Davis along with many thousands of others.

Do you think they don't know a homophobe when they see one, Stonewall?

Auntie Flo' said...

By the way, you can leave a message for David Davis on Conservative Home at present....

No that's what I call changing your tune :)

canvas said...

conand - you always know 'what I mean', thanks. I respect your point of view but I can't see the David Davis agenda being anything other than self serving.

DD has selective views about liberty and they don't gel.

Verity says: "Canvas - I hadn't known that Davis is pro-hanging. Now I am more in love with him than ever.

Canvas has a fluid mind. It dribbles out of both ears."


>>>Verity, you would be in love with DD, wouldn't you? Hanging is just so 'libertarian'? oh dear. Oh dear. LoL

I won't mention anything about your dribbles. eeewww.

:)

Richard Nabavi said...

Oh dear, judging by these responses to Iain's post some people just don't get it, do they?

David Davis has made a stand on the topic of liberty. That does not mean agreeing about every issue, such as whether it's a good idea for a gay couple to be able to adopt a child. To label someone who disagrees with you on such an issue as 'illiberal' or 'bigoted' is ludicrous. Worse, it is illiberal and bigoted to label people in such a way, since it addresses the person not the argument.

But DD's point is that Labour government has eroded fundamental liberties. So, for example, if any of the people who have posted above want to stand outside Parliament and recite a poem in support of (or indeed against) gay adoption, they would now be committing an offence, and would be liable to arrested and have their DNA details added to the national database. That is what this is about, together with a whole raft of other infringements of what used to be accepted freedoms in this country.

Paul Pinfield said...

Ambassador, with that tie, you are really spoiling us...

JP said...

Interesting how Ben Bradshaw, and no doubt his minders in No 10 are so keen to stir up David Davis' voting record on gay issues.

Perhaps Ben should look closer to home at his own leaders voting record. In his usual McCavity fashion, Gordon Brown has managed to avoid voting on a single gay right issue ever. Apparently on every occasion, he was "too busy" to attend

trevorsden said...

I think this shows how 'gay rights' is just a totem to some people, abortion is another.

It cuts both ways of course.

I have no problem with 'civil partnerships' in theory its just that I do not see why two maiden aunts should not be able to have one. My idea of a 'civil partnership' is a bit different from the one we have.

As such I would not have voted for the current law - and I would not support registrars being discriminated against for not feeling able to officiate in something which in reality is the preserve of a lawyer.

I would therefore contend that you can still be 'not anti gay' but still be opposed to the present civil partnership lay as it is currently constituted.

And to make a point to someone who is 'anonymous' -- I absolutely reject the notion that being against gay adoption is being anti gay or anti gay rights. Likewise the notion that because I am against same sex parents makes me anti gay, or 'anti gay rights'. So it is despicable to attack Davis in this way. This is a pathetic, absolutist 'love me, love my dog' attitude that simply must be laid to rest. I for one will not be tarred with this brush.

Needless to say I think the antics of the labour party as you describe are despicable.

Some commentators here seen to think that if you are gay you must WANT gay adoption for instance --- but why? There is no logic to that. May be you do but why should people assume that all gay people march to one step - to the step that left wing organisations want them to march ??

Gay people out there need to wake up ... you are individuals aren't you?

trevorsden said...

BTW - what makes this a bit laughable is that a few days back I read on another blog (I think it was another blog) someone claiming that Davis was the Tories only gay frontbencher ... !!

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence

I know a few Labour MPs, none of whom have even tried to lock me away for 42 days. So, that's alright then, it doesn't matter how they voted. So David can stop his silly little protest.

Tozznok said...

It seems that there is some misunderstanding here amongst the commenters here. As far as I am aware (please correct me if I am wrong) marriage and adoption are not, and have never been, rights, inalienable under the law. That is for anyone; if they were, we would not have such restrictive rules on adoption. The rights to not be unlawfully detained and to have a fair trial were an inalienable right for centuries, and are key to the relationship between the British nation and state. The former issues may be important, but they are far less important than this.

verity said...

Canvas writes, re. my comment: "Hanging is just so 'libertarian'?" Where did that little "thought" come from? Not from me.

However, come to think of it, hanging murders is indeed a libertarian act as, by removing a murderer, it liberates others to go about their normal lives without fear. So yes, hanging is the act of a libertarian.

Trevorsden - Yes, the left expects all gay people to speak with one voice and have one political point of view - the left, of course; the party of the "oppressed". Equally offensive is, the American left (Obama et Cie) think all black people should speak with one voice (as "oppressed" people). As though the wonderful Thomas Sowell would even agree to be in the same room with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, Rev Wright and others. It's just such a demeaning point of view, but the left has never seen people as individuals. Just masses to be used.

Chap who happens to be gay said...

Many congratulations on your civil partnership, Iain.

Stonewall are merely the pink wing of NuLabour and are a self-promoting 'sinecures for the boys /girls' organisation desperate to screw as much public money out of the system and channel it into promoting NuLabour in 'the gay community' as possible.

They have been rather more detrimental to true gay equality than Davis ever was in his less enlightened days.

javelin said...

Gay right, black rights, womens rights, childs rights, fathers rights.

Strikes me the white men in super man suits have got the biggest bias against them.

The gays, blacks and women rights activists are pretty much on a level playing field now, do you see them all charging ahead as great business leaders or scientists. No and the sucessful exceptions onl goes to proves the rule. Now they're just like everybody else the still keep whining on and on about what victims they are. It only goes to prove misery loves company.

You certainly would not want to go down the pub, date or work with a left winger because they would bore you with their deeply miserable personalities and drag you into their deeply miserable lives. They would go on, and on, and on about what victims they are yet fail to make any effort to improve themselves.

Lefties you've got what you want, equality. Now prove yourselves worthy of it.

Tory Bender said...

Mr Dale - congrats and all that.

You comment: 'disagreements about some of these votes'. I wonder if you could enlighten us as to on which votes you found yourself in agreement with Mr Davis?!

Anonymous said...

There is no hypocrisy in DD's voting. There will always be a conflict between freedom and equality.

curly15 said...

At June 16, 2008 4:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iain, Congrats on your civil partnership.

Is it possible you could find out the truth about six South Tyneside Councillors crossing the floor to Labour?

3 Lib Dems, Cllr Atkinson, Cllr McKie and Cllr Abbott.

2 Real Independents, Cllr Haram and Cllr Elsom, and Independent Councillor, Cllr Defty.

If this is true? I feel sorry for the people who voted them in Office.


Iain I can confirm that this is just a wild fantasy, nothing of the sort is happening here, and none of the Independents wish to return to the Labour fold, and the Lib-Dems have also confirmed that they are not moving.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"Do you think they don't know a homophobe when they see one, Stonewall?"

David Davis's voting record speaks for itself.

Fortunately, I expect that there are more homophobes than gays in his constituency so he should get re-elected.

Auntie Flo' said...

Pssst. So what did David Davis say then Iain, aren't you going to tell us?

Anonymous said...

Some Tories seem to think that in order to qualify themselves as not-homophobic they only have to tolerate homosexuals existence.

Let's call a spade a spade here - if you don't think gay people should be allowed to raise children, then that is homophobic. You believe that gay people should have fewer rights that heterosexuals.

And let's also be clear, that gay rights are just as much a part of civil liberties as the rights of suspected terrorists.

Unfortunately for these faux-libertarians, you cannot just pick and choose which groups of people you think should have freedom.

mitch said...

Shows how worried and desperate some people are over DD. It scares them because they don't understand it.

Alex said...

I encourage as many people as possible to respond to this drivel in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/16/1

chrome diplomat said...

Iain,
First of all the obvious- well done. I'm really glad you had such a happy day- the pictures in the post above look wonderful!

Now- if you really will insist on posting (you can't be kept away can you...if it wasn't this something else would have come up! :-p) Down to the politics.

I have to say that I agree with most of the those above, just because David Davis is a friend to you, and undoubtedly has no issue with your sexuality, his voting record is consistently anti-gay and repressive.

He is of course not the only one- lets not forget that Dick Cheney has been integral in putting some of the most right wing, anti-gay, anti-woman judges onto the Supreme court, as well as positioning many extremely bigoted in every branch of government despite having a gay daughter.

The point is that its not what you do for your friends and loved ones, it is what you do, as an elected official, for all people, stonewall may be a pressure group designed to create wedge issues, but on this issue I'm afraid they are right.

Anyway- once again well done and I wish you all the best.

PS- Veirty- the right have a better sense of humour than the left???!!
Bernard Manning Vs Armando Iannuchi
Jim Davidson Vs Woody Allen
Mike Reed Vs Bill Hicks
Jon Stewart Vs um....Bill O'Reilly?

Please tell me that you are joking...although it would be the first funny one I've heard from the right in some time! :-p!

fugitive ink said...

Two quick, inter-related points:

First, although I don't 'know' David Davis myself, he's an old friend of several people whom I have known pretty well. Because of this, I know of several instances where he's been impressively supportive of various gay friends and colleagues over the years, even when very few others were willing to stand by them. Iain's right - Davis is no homophobe.

Secondly, though, is it not fairly obvious that there are reasons why someone might have failed to vote for civil partnership legislation that have nothing to do with homophobia? Some gay friends of mine were annoyed by the legislation because of the distinction it maintained between gay and straight civil 'marriage' ceremonies, while libertarian pals got cross because they didn't see why anyone (gay, straight, groups of more than two, friends who've lived together for decades but don't have sex, etc) couldn't enter into some form of 'partnership' valid under law.

I'm not for a moment saying that these were Davis' objections, not least because I've no idea how he voted or what he said on this issue. But honestly, please don't buy in to what appear to be oddly well-organised attempts to knock Davis' civil libertarian credentials without doing your homework first.

simon said...

Excuse me- but when was 'stonewall' made the 'voice' of the homosexuals! Cough. I thought they disappeared ages ago ( probably down to embarrasment being 'close' to a certain ex-leader of ZaNuLabour being a complete fantacist), and i've got to say if they are 'picking' on DD i suspect 'prompting' from 'political colleagues' elsewhere might have had a hand. I agreed with some aspects of section 28 and I'M gay- choke on that lefty stonies!

Anonymous said...

@Javelin -

Alan Turing was a great scientist. He committed suicide because he was threatened with blackmail as he was gay

(He lives on in the Apple logo; he killed himself by eating a poisoned apple)

Dave said...

Verity, the reason us gays end up on the left is that while people on the right such as yourself are always spouting lots of atractive stuff about individual freedoms... you then always go on to pass plenty of legislation that makes us essentially second class citizens.
I'm not a fan of Stonewall, but lets face it it's a creation of the right more than the left!
And DD's behaviour is classic here. I'm glad he turned up to Iain's Big Day, but that doesn't stop the fact he voted against it in the House.
As I said, freedom for only some of us.

peezedtee said...

Those on here who cannot see what party allegiances have to do with being gay are lacking a sense of history, I think. See my blog at http://peezedtee.blogspot.com/2008/06/noted-blogger-weds-his-boyf.html .

David Davis was absent for the vote on civil partnerships, but of the Tories who did vote, about half voted against them.

DD himself certainly did vote in favour of Section 28 and against an equal age of consent. That seems pretty anti-gay to me. Perhaps he has repudiated those actions and stated explicitly that he has changed his mind. If so, fine. If not, the criticisms made of him - and the view that his commitment to personal freedom is highly selective - must stand.

Clearly DD is a personal friend of Iain Dale. Loyalty to one's friends is a commendable trait. But I think Iain is failing to distinguish here between the personal and the political.

dirty european socialist said...

The tory MP does have a confusing record on homosexual issues. But maybe he was a closet liberal, and it was almost as difficult in the old tory party to be a liberal as it was a to be openly gay. He is whoing his liberal views now. Except on the death penalty.
But I htink it is important to point out the gay pupil he helped was not gay but was seen as gay by his bullies. I remember this story. And the story earned my respect for the tory MP. The tory MP eanred my respect when I heard he stood up to bullies. Which is why despire dissagreeing massively with him on 42 days, and despite being anti tory i hope he keeps his seat.

Aardvark said...

Anonymous said...
"Alan Turing was a great scientist. He committed suicide because he was threatened with blackmail as he was gay

(He lives on in the Apple logo; he killed himself by eating a poisoned apple)"


The Apple logo was a hat-tip to the Beatles Apple Corps. Nothing to do with Alan Turing.

Peter said...

I think if somebody votes consistantly against gay rights, it's fair to call them homophobic. I certainly wouldn't try and put an spin on it.

As for the commentors saying gay people shouldn't be 'grouped' or describing organisations such as Stonewall in a negative light; consider this - when you're the only gay guy or girl in a workplace full of homophobes I think having a support network and a place to find out what your rights are, and to fight for equal rights is a very positive thing.

It's not something you can do on your own.

More so remembering it is only recently, under Labour, that gay people are being allowed (almost) equal rights.

I say good on Stonewall for reminding people how anti-gay politicians such as David Davis have voted in the past.

Truculent Sheep said...

Another way of looking at it is this: Davis may not have been all that gay-friendly in the past, but the surveillance state he's railing against is a threat to us all, especially minorities.

Or to put it another way, are gays and lesbians really that keen to be on databases that might keep a record on their sexuality as well as their movements and personal data? Not all future governments may be so benign, after all. And in this case, even viewed from a pessimistic angle, DD is certainly the lesser of two evils. Don't fall for the standard Labour tactic of muddying the waters...

Zefrog said...

Dear Aardvark,

Would the fact that the Apple logo is a "hat-tip" to the Beatles record label, be the reason why the two companies sued each other's bums off for so many years on the use of the name apple?

Sadly the logo has indeed nothing to do with Alan Turing (who committed suicide not because of blackmail but because he had been arrested, yet again) but is a reference to Newton's apple. (another gay man, Newton, by the way...)

Anonymous said...

It would have been totally understandable if David had pulled out ...
Indeed. In the circumstances three would most definitely have been a crowd not to mentioned uncomfortable ...

Zeddy said...

Irritants as Stonewall and Bradshaw are, I’m afraid that it all comes across as special pleading on behalf of your pals, Iain. Especially the rather silly “oh he just happened to be absent when the vote was taken” line.

***However, come to think of it, hanging murders is indeed a libertarian act as, by removing a murderer, it liberates others to go about their normal lives without fear. So yes, hanging is the act of a libertarian.***

Verity, locking a murderer up for life also liberates others to go about their normal lives without fear. Hanging is the act not of a libertarian but of someone who believes in the infallibility of the justice system. Of course, if we had hanged the Birmingham Six, we probably would never have found out that they were innocent.

***Let's call a spade a spade here - if you don't think gay people should be allowed to raise children, then that is homophobic. You believe that gay people should have fewer rights that heterosexuals.***

Raising children is not a right unless you gave birth to those children yourself.

Chris Paul said...

As your first commentator said the votes are a matter of record. And bugger context. Zefrog - are you sure? Apple's apple has a bite out of it. Did Newton's?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. DD can find the time to come to your civil ceremony in the middle of a political and media storm. But he couldn't find the time to vote for your (or my) right to have a civil ceremony. Stonewall convinced me he was ant-gay rights. You have convinced me he is an appalling hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Zefrog said...
Would the fact that the Apple logo is a "hat-tip" to the Beatles record label, be the reason why the two companies sued each other's bums off for so many years on the use of the name apple?

Apple Computers paid the Beatles Apple Corps for the right to use the logo. Relations between the two companies were amicable for a long time until the introduction of the iPod. The Beatles then sued Apple Computers claiming that they had violated an agreement not to use the logo in connection with music. The Beatles lost the action.

Steve Platt said...

For those of us who do not know someone personally we can only judge them by their actions. I was open to being convinced, Iain, but that voting record tells a different story.

Anonymous said...

Re Apple's Logo (from Wikipedia)

Apple’s first logo, designed by Jobs and Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Almost immediately, though, this was replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow Apple,” the now-familiar rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it, possibly as a tribute to Isaac Newton's discoveries of the gravity (the apple), and the separation of light by prisms (the colors). This was one of several designs Janoff presented to Jobs in 1976.

While it is generally accepted to have been in reference to Isaac Newton, a curious urban legend exists that the bitten apple is a homage to the mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide by eating an apple he had laced with cyanide. Turing is regarded as one of the fathers of the computer.

Also:

Apple's first slogan, "Byte into an Apple", was coined in the late 1970s - hence the bite out of the Apple in the design.

Zefrog said...

Chris, I had heard the Turing story too but the "trustworthy" *cough* Wikipedia says it's all about Newton, so it MUST be true ;O)
link

John said...

Zeddy :
"Of course, if we had hanged the Birmingham Six, we probably would never have found out that they were innocent"

Indeed Lord Denning said this very same thing in support of an argument for the restoration of the death penalty. He thought the damage to the credibility of the Justice system was far worse than the loss of six innocent lives would have been.

He, like "Verity", is history.

Anonymous said...

You invited Bonkers Dorries ??

Her of the 'loony Catholic' persuasion ??

One wonders what the Pope what make of it all ?? And if she can turn a blind eye to 'civil partnership', why not abortion ??

But then that's the thing with the religious brigade - always an a la carte menu for them...

Matthew B said...

Congratulations on your civil partnership.

While I am delighted to learn that David Davis is a good friend of gay and lesbian people in the private sphere, it is irrelevant to how he should be judged as a politician. It is his behavious in the public sphere that counts.

If more MPs had voted the same way as David Davis, your civil partnership would never have happened, and nor would mine. The fact that he was present to celebrate yours is of little consequence to me.

The huge advances in freedoms for gay and lesbian people legislated for by Labour have far more impact on my liberty than the debate about 42 days.

Like it or not, David Davis's voting record on gay and lesbian rights is a relevant consideration when judging his reason for resigning his seat. The accusation of hypocrisy is fair.

Anonymous said...

DD is anti-gay! He is against giving equal rights to gays & lesbians in all aspects of life as his voting record shows. That he even showed up at your civil partnership is unbelievable since if could have had his way, you would not have been able to get registerered. Good old tory hypocrisy, again!

Merseymike said...

Iain: DD's voting records is lousy on gay rights. There's no hiding it.

But I do believe that people can and do change their mind, and I hope that is what he has done. Would be good if he could confirm it, as I think he does command genuine respect from those on the libertarian right (of which I am very much not!)

I do recall a few of us going to visit Jerry Hayes and how he very vocally decided he had got it wrong and became a very strong pro-gay voice on the Tory benches.

Stonewall are a good organisation who have achieved a lot of success, and I think you need to be magnanimous enough to accept that it was Labour and LD MP's rather then Tories who in the main voted for change. I hope that there is now a consensus in favour of equality but unfortunately there are still too many anti-gay voices in the Tories. The sooner the issue can be one which there is broad agreement on, the better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain. I hope I'm not breaking netiquette by having mentioned this on Davis's own site but, if you’re having difficulty convincing any of your friends of the legitimacy of David Davis’s stand, you should check out this excellent summary of the events surrounding his resignation. I believe the Patrick Stewart sounding voice at the beginning is from the 60s TV series The Prisoner – how chillingly clairvoyant. As an expat living in Spain, this rekindled my pride in the sort of British values David Davis represents. I just wonder whether it would be allowed in Britain. It would be sad to think that you have to come to the costas to get an objective view.

http://stephenritson.com/2008/06/broadcast-on-rem-fm-saturday-14th-june.html

I hope Mr Davis himself gets the chance to hear it. As Stephen Ritson himself has said on air, Blair and Brown mistook Brave New World and 1984 not for warnings but for instruction manuals.

H Wallace, Costa Blanca, Spain.

PS In the hope that a seconder will appear instantly, I propose you, Iain, as coordinator of the Tories' virtual election campaign, as the clear A student in the lessons learned by Ron Paul and Barack Obama.

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