@JaeKay I'm glad we are looking back in this but we do also need to allow people to change their minds. That's why we have equal marriage.Shall we see if these 28 men have changed their ways?
— David Smith (@davidinossett) November 18, 2013
The first opportunity to see if they had really changed their views (or stopped toeing a disagreeable party line) we get is the 2003 vote to repeal Section 28. Only two of our 28 took that opportunity and voted in line with its repeal... Step forward Andrew Mitchell and Tim Yeo.
And, in keeping with David's suggestion, I then looked at their votes on same-sex marriage. Here we see a slightly bigger switch over.
Alistair Burt, Ken Clarke, Peter Bottomley, Stephen Dorrell, Patrick McLoughlin, Francis Maude and Nicholas Soames joined Mitchell and Yeo in voting with the minority of Tory MPs who supported same-sex marriage. So 9 out of the 28. An improvement but there is still a rump of MPs who just haven't changed:
James Arbuthnot, who at least seemed to be contemplating the issue in a serious manner.
Simon Burns, some interesting correspondence between him and a constituent here.
Tony Baldry, whose arguments were worryingly lacking.
Michael Fallon, to give him credit, conceded his failure to win the argument
Roger Gale, who managed to make us smile with his silly opposition.
Gerald Howarth, who was concerned about the aggressive homosexuals out there. (No not Dennis Nilsen, those of us who want to get marriage. Violent act or what?)
These men remain unrepentantly opposed to LGBT freedom. Let's not forget that. Sure everyone gets the right to change their mind. But sometimes being eternally optimistic about people's capacity to change is a waste of time.
Section 28 is gone. Hopefully one day soon so will all its supporters in the House of Commons.