Bad week all round in politics
It’s been a trying week all round in UK politics. For the Conservatives, Prime Minister Theresa May held a cabinet reshuffle – there hadn’t been one in a few weeks and it passes the time while we shamble towards Brexit. Alas for her the existing minister for LGBT issues, Justine Greening, didn’t want to be moved to the role of cutting benefits at the DWP and so walked. As the first openly LGBT minister in the role, Justine had been leading reform of the Gender Recognition Act to help the UK catch up with countries like Ireland on trans rights. Now we have to see whether her successor in the role Amber Rudd will pick up the ball and run with it.
Meanwhile Labour were in hot water over the sometimes-tricky combination of faith and sexuality, as their new Scottish equalities spokesperson Elaine Smith spoke out against same-sex marriage and declared that the previous marriage / civil partnership divide – separate and not equal – was fine for her definition of equalities because different is not the same as unequal.
And for the Liberals, former leader Tim Farron had the same sexuality and faith troubles, saying that he regretted telling a journalist that gay sex was not a sin after some prevarication during the 2017 General Election. Unlike Elaine, Tim did support the same-sex marriage bill, but as a party leader rather than front bencher his remarks were seen to derail the Liberals election campaign at the time.
Perhaps it’ll be better next week. Failing that, perhaps Plaid Cymru’s turn in the queer questions limelight.