CommunityPam's House Blend

Blair's Equality Minister has a problem with the homos

Hat tip to a Blender across the pond, Henry, who wrote:

Ruth Kelly has just been appointed Equalities Minister, responsible for piloting the new Equality Bill through the House of Commons. Unfortunately she is also a member of Opus Dei, a hardline Catholic organisation. She voted against the Civil Partnerships legislation whilst not in her present post and also voted against the lowering of the age of gay consent. She has also dodged questions as to whether she believes homosexuality to be a sin, apparently completely contradicting the legislation she is supposed to be having put into law.

Yes, poor Tony Blair’s got another embarrassment on his hands. I wonder if he and Dear Leader are trading political war stories…

The row threatens further to undermine the wide-ranging reshuffle carried out by the Prime Minister after Labour’s poor performance in the local elections last week. But Ms Kelly strongly defended her position, insisting she was committed to promoting equality.

Interviewed on BBC Radio Five Live, Ms Kelly twice declined to say whether she thought homosexuality was a sin. She said: “I’m sort of getting used to these questions as I go from one department to another. Is it possible to be a practising Catholic and hold a portfolio in government? The answer is ‘yes’. Why? Because I’m collectively responsible for cabinet decisions and I firmly believe in equality and I believe everyone should be protected from discrimination.”

Pressed again, she replied: “I don’t think it is right for politicians to start making moral judgements about people. What I think the question is, is what are my political views? As a politician, those are the ones that I’m accountable for to the public.”

In a second interview with Sky News, Ms Kelly repeatedly declined to say whether she agreed that same-sex couples should be permitted to adopt children. But she insisted she would promote the rights of all.

…Lorely Burt, the Liberal Democrats spokeswoman on equality, said: “How can the gay community trust legislation to be properly implemented when Ruth Kelly has such an ambiguous record on gay rights? Ruth Kelly urgently needs to come clean about whether she agrees with her own department’s policies on equality issues. Blair’s reshuffle tried to reduce bad headlines but has so far only succeeded in shifting trouble from one department to another.”

I guess it matter what the definition of “all” is, right?

Previous post

The Opportunity Cost of War, Part II

Next post

Running on Fumes?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding