Diane Abbott has deleted her tweet of a quote that’s been whizzing around Twitter, supposedly attributed to Theresa May.
The meme suggests that the Prime Minister, when a councillor in Merton and Wimbledon in the Eighties, once said: “Curbing the promotion of lesbianism in Merton’s schools starts with girls having male role models in their lives.”
But there is no evidence available to prove that May ever said this. The quotation was investigated by Gay Star News and BuzzFeed when it started being shared ahead of the election. Just like Dan Hannan’s pictures from his country walk and erm, pretty much every pro-Leave politician suggesting the NHS would get £350m extra a week after Brexit, Abbott’s tweet was a bad idea. It’s good she deleted it.
1998: She voted against reducing the age of consent for gay sex.
1999: She voted against equalising the age of consent, again.
2000: She voted against repealing Section 28, and Vice has uncovered an interview she did in her forties with a student paper when she said “most parents want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there”, referring to the legislation stopping “the promotion of homosexuality in schools”.
2000: She did not show up to another vote on making the age of consent for gay people equal to the one for straight people.
2001: She voted against same-sex adoption.
2002: She voted against same-sex adoption, again.
2003: She did not vote on repealing Section 28.
2004: She missed all four votes on the gender recognition bill. (But she did vote in favour of civil partnerships this year).
2007: She missed a vote on protecting gay people from discrimination (the part of the Equality Act that would prevent b&bs and wedding cake makers discriminating against gay people, for example).
2008: She opposed IVF for same-sex couples, voting in favour of a child needing a “father and mother” before allowing a woman to have IVF treatment.
Since then, May has softened her stance on gay rights, apologised for her past voting record, and voted in favour of same-sex marriage. “I have changed my view. If those votes were taken today, I would take a different vote,” she said.
But your mole can think of at least one politician who’s always been on the right side of history regarding gay rights. Diane Abbott.