No, what has shocked me is how quickly the Tories have accepted her statement of innocence without even the most cursory of cheks.
“I make no apology for being a committed Christian. However, it is categorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an illness and I am deeply offended that The Observer has suggested otherwise. I have spent 20 years working with disturbed people who society have turned their back on and are not often supported by state agencies; drug addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill and the homeless that I and my charitable friends in the public sector have tried to help over the years. The idea that I am prejudiced against gay people is both false and insulting.”
No one suggested that she thought homosexuality was an illness. The article refers to the belief that homosexuality is caused by demonic possession.
When PinkNews.co.uk pointed out to her spokesman that The Observer's prime claim was not that she believed homosexuality to be an illness, rather that she appeared to believe it could be overcome through prayer and removing "demons", he said: "we will not be adding to or subtracting to the statement." - Pink News
Both On The Right Wing and Iain Dale seem to suggest this is all just a belated Lib Dem smear against Mrs Stroud.
Well I can show you IT ISN'T. Abi, the girl quoted in the article, has been making her claims for quite some time. Just check out here. That no more proves Stroud guilty than Stroud's statement proves her innocence. But neither statement should just be dismissed for political reasons.
Accusations of "gay conversion" are, in my opinion, some of the most serious accusations one can make against someone without the police getting involved (and they still could under certain circumstances). It's disturbing to see Tories just brush them off and paint this all as a witch hunt. Defend Stroud by all means, but don't just dismiss claims against her as so much fluff because she's "a nice person". Lots of people think the same about allsorts of folks but have no idea of what that person is really like.
A thorough investigation is needed, promptly, to ensure confidence that the Tory party really does believe in protecting vulnerable people.
For more information on the serious issues behind gay conversion please check out Ex Gay Watch and Truth Wins Out
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist