We invited each of the major political parties to create an OP ED telling our readers why they thought it was important for the LGBT community to vote for their party. In the first of these columns the Conservatives’ Nick Boles, the Minister of State for Skills and Equalities, gives his top 10 reasons to vote Conservative.

Equal opportunity, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is at the heart of the Conservative Party. Our commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of LGBT people is absolute – I am proud of our record so far, but I’m always mindful that there is more to do. Here’s why I think THEGAYUK readers should vote Conservative:

  1. The right plan for Britain. Like everyone else, LGBT people value the security of work, a good home, and strong public services. We have the right plan that is creating more jobs and helping people get on the housing ladder, whilst increasing spending on the NHS: We have pledged an additional £8bn, which is only possible because we have created a strong economy.

  2. Strong leadership, home and abroad. David Cameron offers the strong leadership our country needs. He stood up for LGBT rights and marriage equality: He knew it was right, and he led from the front. I admire that.

  3. The right team: Under David Cameron, the Conservative party is modern and inclusive. In the last parliament, the Conservatives had more LGBT MPs than all the other parties put together. We will always value diversity: 14 percent of our new candidates are from BME backgrounds, and a third of new candidates in seats we already hold are women.

  4. Marriage Equality. We have introduced civil marriage equality by giving same-sex couples the same opportunity to get married. As Conservatives we believe in freedom and supporting people who make a commitment to each other.

  5. Correcting past wrongs. We have already made it possible for gay men with historic criminal records for consensual gay sex to apply to have these records deleted. Our manifesto sets out plans for a new law to lift the blight of all such outdated past convictions based on the pardon given to Alan Turing.

  6. Harsher penalties for hate crimes. We’ve ensured people who murder transgender people in hate crime attacks now face life sentences. We will now look at extending hate crime laws to cover crimes committed against people on the basis of disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

  7. Tackling homophobia in schools and sport. We have invested £2 million in schools to help them tackle homophobic bullying and launched a Sports Charter to stamp out homophobia and transphobia in sport.

  8. The UK is now number one in Europe for LGBT rights. Under our government, the ‘Rainbow Europe’ survey conducted by ILGA Europe has ranked the UK number one for LGBT rights for the third year in a row.

  9. Promoting LGBT rights overseas. We will continue to challenge anti-LGBT laws overseas, and we have a track-record of leading from the very top on this: David Cameron has personally raised concerns with President Putin, whilst UK Embassies abroad now support human rights organisations campaigning to change laws and social attitudes. We have also stopped the deportation of asylum seekers facing homophobic persecution.

  10. We value LGBT people for who they are. We are committed to equality, but no-one should be defined purely by their sexuality or gender identity. Our plan is for a stronger economy and security for all – and a country where everyone is free to be who they are and to be given the respect they deserve.

The ideas and any voting intention expressed in this column are those of the writer and may not necessarily represent TheGayUK.com.

The Greens, Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP were invited to create content for THEGAYUK

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.