Monday, 5 April 2010

Extracting Gay Teeth....

Chris Grayling has bungled his way into another elephant trap, with reports of a taped conversation with some "think tank" employees in which he says that he sympathises with the owners of a B+B who refused to let gay people stay in their establishment.

The case being put about out in part is that, as a B+B is run from somebody's home, they should be allowed to keep out people they don't like. But the law says they cannot discriminate on sexual orientation, so Grayling's position is strictly speaking, unlawful. Anyway, they are not allowed to discriminate on grounds of race or colour, so why allow it on the grounds of sexual orientation? And, BTW, my dentist runs his practice from a basement in his home: should he be allowed to refuse the extraction of gay teeth...? Of course not: the law is the law, and should apply to everyone.

Another leg of Grayling's position is that the B+B owners were "religious", and gay people offend their "religious" sensibilities. But the law is the law, and Chris Grayling is the Shadow Home Secretary: he hopes that he will get re-elected, that there will be a Tory government and he will then be Home Secretary for real.  So his beliefs and attitudes matter.

Grayling's beliefs are also an indication of how far David Cameron has been successful in transforming his party from the "nasty" (racist, homophobic, misogynistic, elitist, toff riden) party to the "nice" (gay friendly etc...) party. And Mr Cameron has not taken his party very far, if Grayling's private opinions are to be taken as any guide.

If the Home Secretary said that he/she was against equal rights for all before the law, they would be forced to resign. It would make little difference if these views were expressed in private. Chris Grayling has done worse than that: he has expressed one view in private, and another in public, and the view he has expressed in private (which we assume is his actually held view) is that he is against equal rights for all before the law.

His position is fatally compromised. He is unfit to be Home Secretary. He should go quickly, to do less damage to his party.

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