The Mail on Sunday reported that the Tory Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin, who is a Catholic with one of the worst voting records on lesbian and gay rights, is privately telling anxious Tory MPs that the coalition government’s plans for marriage equality will be “kicked into the long grass”. However neither the Mail nor PinkNews could confirm this report with him, and the Prime Minister’s spokeperson wouldn’t comment on any private remarks supposedly made by Patrick McLoughlin.
Major LGB Equality Conversion for Catholic Iain Duncan Smith
Meanwhile another senior Tory Catholic MP, the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, on Friday publicly stated he supported marriage equality. This is a major personal conversion and is a complete change of his views. He pointed out in an interview in The Times that in a country where so many heterosexual couples are breaking up, marriage equality is a positive method of creating a more stable society.
“I’m for things that are about stability. I think our biggest problem is actually with cohabiting parents breaking up at the rate they do — heterosexual cohabitees, not gay couples — because they’re the ones leaving the trail of devastation afterwards.”
This is a remarkable conversion to lesbian and gay equality for the former leader of the Conservative Party, who is on the socially conservative wing of the party. He’s a Catholic MP with a very long record of opposing lesbian and gay rights: as Tory leader he made it party policy to opposed equal adoption rights, opposed the repeal of the notorious Section 28 (which effectively banned discussion of homosexuality in schools), and has voted against the Civil Partnerships, opposed equal access to fertility treatments for lesbians, and argued LGB partners of parents should have less rights than heterosexual partners of parents.