The Tories have a problem. They have made leaps and bounds in the last few years on the LGBT rights front. Here we have a Coalition consisting primarily of Tories liberalising the blood ban and supporting marriage equality. We need to give them some props for that. Excellent work. But fundamentally, at the very heart of the party in Parliament, there are still the hardcore right-wingers.
A coalition of evangelicals, Catholics and grumpy old people, these right-wingers have not gone away and their hatred of LGBT freedom is clear to see even when they are so desperate to hide it, as they did over the recent attempts to undermine religious civil partnerships.
All parties in this country consist of a wide coalition of groups, some with totally different ideas of what direction the party should go in. But it's only in the Tories that the loony fringe common to all parties seems to have really maintained it's grip in Parliament. That's because until the late nineties, that fringe WAS the Tory party.
The latest shenanigans, led by David Burrowes, to rebel against the civil marriage equality legislation which is on the cards show that whilst this fringe doesn't have the power to defeat this legislation (thanks to the liberal Tories, the Lib Dems and the saner members of the Labour party giving it a good chance of success) they still have the power to give voice to the homophobia that is common among certain classes of people.
And that's why I could never, ever bring myself to vote for the Tories. They cannot pretend this fringe doesn't represent a sizeable component of their supporters. They may have tamed their crazy urges, but it'll only take a bad election defeat of the liberal leadership under Cameron for them to regain command again.
We must be sure to keep pressing the reasonable members of Parliament to support marriage equality (both civil and religious) to ensure they take the matter seriously enough to keep it on course. The risk of a derailment is small but these guys aren't going to miss the vote and we need to make sure our side don't either!
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist