Iain Dale has printed his Eastern Daily Press column today on his blog and makes a rather astonishing parallel between the Liz Truss situation in South West Norfolk and that of a gay man.
Quoting Iain directly he says
" I wrote on my blog that the social outlook of those Tories who sought to deselect Liz Truss over her past affair with an MP was ‘neanderthal’. It’s the same social outlook which caused a few – and I emphasise, a few – North Norfolk Tories to swallow hard when I, a gay man, was selected as the candidate there in 2003."
Now I find this analogy rather odd and also rather disrespectful.
What Iain is saying is that there is a direct link, an equation, which puts as equal the peoples perceptions of gay people with person who breaks their marriage vows and has a long term affair with another married person. Am I the only person who finds this odd ?
My own views on gay people is not any different from my opinions towards heterosexual people. I have many gay friends, indeed my very best friend has recently announced his intention to marry (and I mean marry because they are going to Canada to do it) his male partner next year. Yet Iain Dale seems to be saying that the social outlook that people have towards a person who cares not one jot about her marriage vows, her promise to her partner and the vows her lover made to his wife is equal to the social values of someone who dislikes gay people. I disagree.
I am not a great fan of those people who think that marriage vows are something that can be ignored. It is a solemn promise to act in a way that is wholly loyal to your partner. It is not to be taken lightly. People are perfectly entitled to view people who break these vows with suspicion, as someone who may not keep to their word, and as someone who puts themselves selfishly above others. However, if you view someone who is gay with the same suspicion simply because they are gay, then this is wholly wrong.
For Iain Dale to equate the two is absolutely wrong. He may feel as a gay man he can get away with it. But I know many people who feel that the equation between a gay man and a marriage cheat is unfair.
Someone being gay is not an issue and should never be. Someone who breaks vows and solemn promises is, for many a real and justified position to take. When the issue of trsut is so important at the moment when talking about politicians, anything that causes people to lose trust is a justified position.