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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > June 2017 > Time for a CHANGE?

Time for a CHANGE?

Here we go again… After saying she wouldn’t, Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a snap general election – meaning on 8 June we’re all heading to the voting booths again to decide who’s going to be running the country for the next five years. And it couldn’t come at a more crucial moment in history, with Brexit making this United Kingdom feel more divided than ever. Over the next few pages you’ll hear from the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens and the SNP, who’re all after your pink vote. Who wins? That’s for you to decide…

General election

If there’s one thing we can say for sure, it’s that we can’t really say for sure what the hell is going to happen in an election these days. No one thought Brexit would actually be a thing, everyone laughed at the idea of Trump taking residence in the White House, and since 2015 Jeremy Corbyn has found himself the unlikely victor of a Labour leadership contest not once, but twice. So despite what the polls and the right wing rags are saying, there’s still everything to play for between now and V-day on 8 June.

Whether you think Brexit is going to actually maybe be kind of alright, or you think it’s the political and economical equivalent of Thelma and Louise driving a 1966 Ford Thunderbird off a cliff, there’s no denying that this year’s General Election is quite possibly the most important in any of our lifetimes.

But there’s more than just Brexit we need to worry about, of course. There’s the survival of the NHS, affordable housing, welfare, the environment, zero-hour contracts, national and international security, how Theresa eats her chips – and that’s all before we’ve even begun to worry about the protection of the equal rights we’ve fought so hard to obtain. Because you’re deluded if you don’t think same-sex marriage et al couldn’t be taken away from us faster than you can say “repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act”.

That’s why we wanted to make sure you’re equipped with as much knowledge and information as possible so you can make an informed decision when it comes to casting your vote. But we didn’t want you to be spoken down to from heterosexual party leaders or careerist politicians who’re going to spout empty platitudes until you roll over into submission. We’re all gay and bisexual men reading this, so we wanted to hear from the queer voices within the major parties to find out whose hands the LGBT+ community is going to be safest in for the next five years. So, over the next few pages, you’re going to hear from a mix of currently serving MPs and new candidates representing the Labour Party, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and the Green Party who’re all beggin’ for your support. Not UKIP or the BNP, though – they can’t sit with us…

It’s worth remembering that in the 2015 General Election, more people stayed at home and didn’t bother heading out to the polling stations than actually voted for any individual political party. So more than anything, remember that you have a voice, it’s your right to use it and make your political statement by voting.

Read. Research.

Register. And vote for whoever’s going to have your best interests at heart. Your future quite literally depends on it.

Mike, how should a voter feel if their Conservative candidate doesn’t have a good record of standing up for LGBT+ rights? The answer to this question is dependent on how they view our democracy. If on the whole they align themselves with Conservative Party policy, they may decide to vote for the party rather than the individual. People also have to look beyond simply looking at an MP’s voting record. I’d use the example of Nicky Morgan, someone who voted against same-sex marriage but has since said she would vote differently if she were given the chance again. I think voters should engage with their candidates to try and understand their positions on issues that are important to them.

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About Gay Times

Parry Glasspool plays one of the most famous gay characters currently on British TV. He's not just easy on the eye; his role as Harry in Hollyoaks has a far-reaching and positive impact on young men around the UK, giving them the strength to come out to their families. We undress Parry for a steamy cover shoot and dive into his career, his future ambitions and what it's like kissing Kieron Richardson over and over and over again. In what is one of the most alarming recent atrocities against the LGBT+ community, we run our own investigation into what exactly is happening on the ground in Chechnya, and what you can do to help. We also speak to a Russian journalist who goes some way in defending Putin. Don't miss this explosive interview. Speaking of which: with a snap general election looming, we hear from the LGBT+ politicians who want our vote. And for our readers around the globe, the results of the elections in the UK affect you, too. Keep a close eye. In 2014, Neil Laybourn stopped Jonny Benjamin from ending his life on Waterloo Bridge. With a growing number of lives being lost to mental health battles, Neil and Jonny ask why we aren't doing more about it. Banarama on their hits, their friendship and their future; the godfathers of synthpop, Erasure, take us on a journey through every album of their illustrious 32-year career; Dua Lipa on her hard-earned and well-deserved success; and an interview with the late, great John Hurt on the eve of the release of the one of the greatest gay films of all time, The Naked Civil Servant. What to do about a friend's reckless sexual behaviour; Lady Bunny sticks her hand it in our sweetie jar of random questions (don't worry, we threw it away straight after); X Factor's Ray Quinn is this month's Gay Times Fitty; Charlie King on how to get buns of steel; cosplay with Chris Jones; 5 myths about HIV superdrug PrEP; Bill Hayes on Oliver Sacks; plus style, travel, culture and more.