Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

David Davis and his voting record on gay issues

There has been a controversy in the blogosphere over the past couple of days over whether or not David Davis is a 'homophobe'; an earlier related article there has now disappeared (heading: "David Davis 'wells up' at civil-partnership ceremony" - first lines of text: "Political blogger and newspaper columnist Iain Dale has revealed this week how his civil partnership ceremony, which took place on Sunday, brought a tear to the eye of senior tory David Davis.").

Whatever David Davis is or is not, his voting record in the House of Commons on matters affecting homosexuals is very clear; he has voted against most changes (i.e. liberalisations) affecting homosexuals and on the remaining votes he was absent. He seems never to have voted for any changes affecting homosexuals.

His voting record on other topics can be accessed here.

From the updates to the first link above, written by someone who knows David Davis well, it would appear that in his personal dealings with gay people he is courteous and friendly and any suggestion that he is 'homophobic' is strongly disputed by that person (just as a few years ago he disputed that John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia at the time, was a 'homophobe'). However, as a legislator, David Davis has used his vote in the legislature either to oppose gay rights or to abstain on such votes, just as John Howard did in Australia when he was in power. To put it mildly there is some kind of dichotomy going on here!

None of this detracts from the fact, however, that on anti-terror laws and ID Cards, David Davis has voted moderately or strongly against the Labour government's proposals to tighten controls. He voted against the proposal to extend detention without trial to 90 days, but he did vote for 28 days, so his record is not entirely 'clean', quite frankly.

I do not resile from my strong support for his stance on the specific issue of the erosion of civil liberties, though, but it would be quite wrong to be deluded into believing David Davis to be some kind of 'libertarian', for it has for many years been quite obvious that he is no such thing.

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