Who is David Cameron? In his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference Cameron stated clearly that he backed gay marriage. Does this make him a gay rights activist?
In the past he has been caught short when asked about various gay rights issues. There has been at best, an unclear narrative up to now about where Cameron sits on gay rights. The problem that I and millions of other Brits have is trying to distinguish what or who Mr Cameron is, and how much of what he says he believes and how much of it is just bluff. So who is David Cameron?
In his keynote speech Mr Cameron said,
“I stood before a Conservative conference once and I said it shouldn’t matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a man and another man or a woman and a woman. You applauded me for that. Five years on, we’re consulting on legalising gay marriage. And to anyone who has reservations, I say this: Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.”
These are not empty word either, it would appear that this government is acting on lgbt issues. Last month for example ministers announced a consultation that would be held on how to introduce same-sex marriage before 2015.
Yet regardless of this evidence to his credit, he has been repeatedly caught out on gay rights issues. Is this because he is the leader of a group of deeply homophobic MPs/MEPs? Not to mention the company that the Conservatives keep in their European Parliament grouping. Or, is it because his commitment to equality is based on a race to the middle moderate ground to win the popular vote? Gay rights is no longer radical!
On this, I am willing to give him credit. I do honestly believe him when he says he backs gay marriage. I feel that this is something that he is personally committed to. Unfortunately he has the pleasure of being the leader of the likes of Roger Helmer and other notorious homophobes. Maybe some party discipline is in order here?
In answer, who is David Cameron? Foremost he is a politician, someone willing to say, behave and act in a certain manner to win popular support. Is this the polar opposite of being a gay rights activist? No. I might be wrong but I get the feeling that on this issue Cameron is on board – it just also happens to politically useful.