Gay, British, and Conservative

Andrew Sullivan contrasts openly gay conservative politicians in the U.K with their closet, hounded counterparts in America:

If the Tories win the next election in Britain by just a one vote majority, there will likely be 15 openly gay

Conservative MPs in the next Parliament. Last night I met Nick Herbert,

an openly gay and married MP who will likely take over the environment

portfolio in Cameron’s cabinet if he is elected. Can you imagine a

married gay couple in any cabinet in the US, Democrat or Republican?

For a little icing on the cake, they, along with heterosexual couples,

will now be allowed to get married in the august rooms of the Houses of Parliament.

As a fellow Brit, I share Sullivan’s frustration with America’s inability to move beyond the antiquated arguments over homosexuality. It isn’t a choice, it isn’t a lifestyle, and gay people are entitled to exactly the same rights that I am. The continued campaign to deny all of the above makes me seriously question this country’s ability to have a rational discourse about serious matters. And for Sullivan, it is far more personal, and far more serious:

Remind me why I moved to the land of the free? To lose freedoms? To

watch conservatism calcify into anti-gay bigotry as one of its binding

principles? To see a newly elected and allegedly moderate governor of

Virginia actually rescind previous protections for gay people employed

by state government – so that the gay people who work for their own

government must live in constant fear of being fired solely for being


The whole idea behind the American constitution is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Therefore issues like gay rights are not open to voting – they are legal issues to be determined by courts. While the majority of the population may harbor homophobic feelings towards the gay community and want to restrict their rights, it doesn’t mean they can. And that’s why America is supposed to be great.

But in this case, the great beacon of freedom is failing to live up to its promise.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.