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Monday, December 20, 2010

House of Commons Deputy Speaker comes out

By Timoth Kincaid -

   Nigel Evans, the Deputy Speaker of the (House of) Commons, has had a less than stellar history on gay-supportive legislation. His past has included voting for Section 28, legislation that banned affirmative discussion of homosexuality in schools, though in recent years he has been supportive of the community.
   Now he is announcing what has long been an open secret, he is gay. Further, he is helping found a gay caucus within parliament. (mailonline)
The Deputy Speaker of the Commons is to come out as gay tomorrow to mark the launch of a Parliamentary group that will help MPs and staff be open about their homosexuality.
Senior Tory MP Nigel Evans, who deputizes for Speaker John Bercow, says he is ‘tired of living a lie’ and has received threats of blackmail in the past from political enemies.
   In what is perhaps an ironic turn, of the 22 out parliamentarians, 13 are Tories, the conservative party. (Though I rather suspect that if truth were known, Republicans might have a similar ratio in the US). His party leadership is fully behind his decision to come forward. The Tories have made a concerted effort to distance themselves from old anti-gay positions and to adopt a pro-gay image and platform.
   In addition to response to a new openness within the Tories, there is also speculation that Evans’ announcement serves as “clearing the air” for a potential run at Speaker of the Commons.


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