Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Guardian: When Nigel Met Rhona

Saturday's Guardian gave over their The Conversation head-to-head discussion thingy to Rhona Cameron and Nigel Evans MP talking about "how far gay equality has really come".
Evans is described as "Tory MP and deputy speaker, who came out in December."
The Guardian doesn't explain why he waited until December to come out - it's rumoured that he wants to be Speaker of the House, and so realised he had to come out/clean, or risk being outed under the media spotlight.
How very noble.
Mr Evans is a rather strange choice - he is a rather new convert to the cause of gay equality.
He was first elected as an MP in 1992, but his voting record on equality legislation on shows he only began supporting lesbian and gay equality in 2003.
He has voted against equalising the age of consent and abolishing Section 28, and abstained on votes on such key legislation as civil partnerships and gay adoption.
Fagburn is a big fan of Rhona Cameron, but it might have been a better idea to have Nigel Evans debating with an MP who is Labour, a lesbian, and has always been out.
Ooh, I don't know... Angela Eagle, say.
Particularly as Eagle was in the news just the other week after being subjected to David Cameron's sexist bullying Bullingdon boy "Calm down dear!" putdown in the House - and would have much to say about how the Tories liberal rhetoric is rarely matched by the reality.
The conversation touched on many things - out MPs, how the Conservative party has changed, sports players, Section 28, the B&B ban, the gay blood ban, anti-gay violence, homophobic bullying, education... - but didn't allow for any real discussion about any of them.
Still, nice to see Nigel Evans is the only gay man in Britain who still calls gay men "gays".
And good to see The The Guardian thinks Gay Times is called "The Gay Times".
Rhona and Nigel began by talking "about reports this week that kissing between same-sex couples on television could be banned before the watershed following a review."
Fagburn believes this is the first time this laughably false Daily Mail-manufactured story has been mentioned in a grown-up newspaper.

Rhona Cameron: I know the review is about any sexual scenes before the watershed, but when it gets this "gay" focus in reports, it's very worrying.

Nigel Evans: It's sad that it was portrayed in that way. I don't think David Cameron would agree to only banning gay kissing before 9pm, but not heterosexual kissing. On equality legislation alone, it would simply not happen.

I'm loathe to agree with a Tory MP - or, worse, to defend a Tory PM - but I wish this could be the end of the utter, utter fiction that "Cameron wants to ban gay TV kisses".

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