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Theresa May 'will build a better Britain for LGBT people', says deputy chair of LGBTory

2016-07-25

The deputy chair of LGBTory, Matthew Green, has defended the new Prime Minister's LGBT rights record, describing her as "the architect of equal marriage" and defending her decision to vote against equalising the age of consent in 1998 by noting that "even gay MPs such as Crispin Blunt, Nigel Evans and Nick Gibb voted against the reduction to 16". In a post the Conservative Home website, Green notes that May "no longer opposed the repeal" of Section 28 when it was given a free vote in the commons in 2003 (she was in fact not there for the vote). Theresa May's voting record on LGBT rights has been mixed, but even as her views appeared to become more liberal post-2004 (when she voted in favour of civil partnerships), she has come under fire for how LGBT asylum seekers were treated by the Home Office, which she was responsible for during her six years as home secretary, with a damning report revealing "shockingly degrading" treatment of LGBT asylum seekers.  However, Green argues that May's response to the report was encouraging, writing: "As Home Secretary she ordered a review into the way asylum claims based on sexuality were processed, after criticism that claimants were not being treated with respect and dignity." The Conservative leader, who came to power after former Prime Minister David Cameron resigned following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, said in a statement to LGBTory during her campaign bid that she will always stand up for the rights of LGBT people", and that a commitment to equality is "central" to her vision for the UK. However, many remain unconvinced that she will make life easier for the LGBT community, given her record with regards to social issues that disproportionately affect LGBT people, such as housing and the asylum process. The Prime Minister has also been criticised for appointing anti-gay MP Liam Fox to her cabinet. Despite all of this, Green believes that May "is not only the best person to lead our party and our country, but – based on both this commitment and her track record – the best person to build a better Britain for LGBT people". More stories: Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke comes out as gay Gay escorts see a rise in business during Republican National Convention