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CAN WE TRUST THE TORIES?

Five years ago David Cameron gave his first gay press interview to Attitude in which he said the Conservative party was no longer the party of extreme homophobia, something that defined them for the 25 years previous in which they opposed all efforts to bring about LGBT equality. Prime Minister David Cameron pushed through equal marriage, but what’s the real story about the rest of the party he leads? Are we now safe with the Conservatives? Attitude takes a hard look at the numbers.

ELECTION SPECIAL_ATTITUDE

On May 7th Britain goes to the polls in a general election different from any in living memory. Five years ago we saw the death of two-party politics when the Lib Dems performed well enough to wield the balance of power between Labour and the Conservatives. This time we are witnessing the death of three-party politics, as the Greens and UKIP stir things up on the left and right while the Scottish National Party seems poised to make massive gains at the expense of Labour north of the border and Plaid Cymru are giving them a run for their money in Wales.

If you support the smaller parties, this makes everything more exciting than usual. If any pundit claims to know the result, they’re probably not much of a pundit.

It’s also the first general election for at least 25 years where there isn’t a major equality issue at stake. Stonewall has been doing its best to lay out a stall, calling for LGBT-friendly sex education at primary and secondary level, a new hate crime banning homophobic bullying, the inclusion of LGBT equality as a criterion for international aid and a review on laws affecting trans people. But none of these make for a key battleground splitting the various parties, as happened with rows over the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in the 80s, the repeal of homophobic laws in the 90s and early Noughties, and same-sex marriage in 2013.

So if you’re energised by this election, that may be because you have strong views about the cuts or the deficit; you may be horrified by Nigel Farage or excited by the Green surge; or you may have a lifelong affiliation to one or other of the main two parties. But it seems that many people are less likely than they were at previous elections to be strongly driven by gay issues. With the exception of UKIP, all the national parties are officially pro-equality these days and in any case, there are no legislative battles brewing where it’s likely to matter. When Attitude interviewed the leader of the Conservatives in 2010, David Cameron told us that within the Tory party there was now “a shared consensus bedrock view that this is a party for equal rights whether you are male, female, black, white, urban rural, straight or gay.” But is that true? Cameron stuck to his word with equal marriage, pushing through the new law despite there being a huge amount of opposition – from within his own party.

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About Attitude

The new issue feature former child star turned Bates Motel psycho, Freddie Highmore – who is all grown up in our exclusive shoot and interview. We also have a feature looking at why gay men love horror movies so much. On the eve of the UK general election we look back at party voting records and ask can we really trust the Tories? And as the Irish marriage referendum approaches, we look at the country’s road to equality, and how Colin Farrell is supporting his gay brother. In other voting matters, we ask experts if the UK can ever hope to win the Eurovision again. We have interviews with pop prince Will Young, American TV guru Andy Cohen, music mogul Pete Waterman, and that absolute babe Alexandra Burke. We also give you the run down on all the best prides and festivals of the summer.
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