As the Conservative leadership battle continues today, Michael Gove became the first candidate to answer calls to allay fears that rights and equalities for the LGBT+ community could be eroded with a new leadership.

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David Cameron‘s coalition government with the Liberal Democrats was famed for ushering a new era of acceptance from the Tories. Gay marriage was secured and the Tories’ checkered history was somewhat restored.

However 136 Tory MP voted against the law – two of them are standing for the top job in Westminster (Stephen Crabb and Dr Liam Fox) – and one abstained from the vote altogether (Andrea Leadsom).

In fact more Conservative MPs voted against same-sex marriage than for it.

Only Michael Gove and Theresa May voted positively for the new law.

On Friday afternoon THEGAYUK emailed each of the five candidates for assurances that if they got into power that gay rights and LGBT equalities would not be eroded or rolled back.

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Today, four days on, only Michael Gove’s office has responded.

Spokesman for Michael Gove said,

“There is no question of LGBTQ+ rights being reduced in any way if Michael becomes Conservative leader. He is proud to have voted in favour of equal marriage and will continue to stand up for LGBTQ+ rights at home and abroad.”

THEGAYUK’s editor Jake Hook said,

“I’m very pleased that Michael Gove has given his assurance to the community that he’d continue to stand up for our rights. However I’m incredibly concerned that none of the other candidates have responded to a community that has long suffered at the hands of past Conservative governments”