The Tories have changed. I'm not going to argue that point. I sincerely believe David Cameron took a decision to move his party closer to the centre and as part of that project he finally dropped the official knee-dragging of the Tories over LGBT rights. That's great. But this official change has not led to changes in the grassroots (which I suppose no one would've expected) but it doesn't appear to have led to much change in the upper echelons either.
Firstly we had the Chris Grayling "B and B" gaffe, as Shadow Home Secretary you'd expect him to know the party line. Alas.
Then we had Julian Lewis and his comparison of the HIV risk to gay men to the risks faced in war, and that is why he supports an unequal age of consent. *headdesk*
Then we had Philip Lardner, who has failed to understand the biological or psychological definitions of the word normal. He thinks things that are "common" are okay but those that are "rare" are not. On this basis "Tigers bad, domestic cats good!". Idiot. He promptly had Tory support withdrawn from his candidacy, again showing the deep divide between Tory policy and Tory reality. The support shown to him by lay Tory members on places like Conservative Home has shown how out of touch David Cameron is with his party's base. That doesn't matter whilst he's winning but, as Thatcher found out, they abandon you pretty quickly when you start to look like a loser.
Now we have Philippa Stroud. Obviously she already has her defenders (just check out some of the comments on that page). Religious freedom is a wonderful thing et al. BUT... these sort of ex-gay therapies are renowned for their psychologically harmful effects and for the abuse that often comes as part of the package. Thankfully I don't need to argue any of those points, as Ex Gay Watch documents all that pretty clearly.
The Tories have come a long way... but they've still got too far to go. LGBT folk who believe it's now safe to vote Tory must understand the change is only skin deep and only secure whilst "Cameronites" remain in charge. Be wary of pinning your hopes on them just yet.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist