October 7, 2009
Protests dent Tory gay pride in Manchester
Over 30 people gathered last night (6 October 2009) to protest against the Conservative Party’s ‘Conference Pride’, a gay pride party held in the centre of Manchester’s gay village.
The protesters, a loose allegiance of groups including Queer Youth Network and Reclaim the Scene, chanted “Shame on you!” and displayed placards damning the Conservative’s former policy Section 28 and proclaiming “Queers Are Not For Sale!”
The protesters’ presence further undermined a night already soured by the announcement that Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive and scheduled special guest, would boycott the event due to Conservative allegiances with virulently homophobic Eastern European Parties.
‘They’re here for white gay men’
Some protesters expressed cynicism at the Conservative’s motives in holding the gay pride event.
“They’ve come to the heart of a commercial gay scene ignoring lesbian, bi and trans people,” student activist Jess told Lesbilicious. “They’re here for white, gay men with money, the ‘pink pound’.”
“If the Tories want to know what gay people think they should debate with us, not charge us £15 to be spoken to,” added ‘G’, another protester.
‘The left does not own gay people’
A Conservative spokesperson defended the £15 event as an innocent gesture emerging from “two conference organisers just trying something new”. “We’ve had an Equality Disco in the past, but that wasn’t open to the public,” she added.
Inside the Conference Pride event the majority of the revelers were male and of the 40 female guests questioned, none identified as being both lesbian/bisexual and Tory.
However, the speakers were quick to highlight the event as an explicit sign of Tory progress.
Openly gay MP Nick Herbert declared to rapturous applause: “We’re here for equality. We’re here to show that ‘the left’ does not own gay people!”
Also protesting Conservative Pride, but for radically different reasons, was another group 100metres away at the edge of the village.
Half a dozen religious activists stood with banners expressing disgust with the Tories for “abandoning Clause 28, the school children protection law”.
Led by ex-Conservative Christian Democrat Rev. David Braid, who regards homosexuality as “outrageous anti-social and criminal behaviour”, the group were surrounded by police for their own protection.
With the help of ‘Milk Snatcher Margaret Thatcher,’ Lamé ran a Tory Shame Quiz examining the Conservatives’ record of opposing LGBT equality legislation, and in particular David Cameron’s questionable voting tendencies.
Highlighting recent stands against civil partnerships and lesbian fertility rights, Lamé stressed that “those Tories still have a lot to be ashamed of”.
The L Word Theme (parody)
We love this parody of the L Word theme by Laura Catlow.
July 11, 2012