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Ear to the Ground

Secret Tape Shows Tory Gay-Bashing

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Posted on Apr 3, 2010
Wikimedia Commons

Tory politician Chris Grayling was covertly recorded claiming that bed and breakfasts in the U.K. should be legally able to bar gay couples.

A secretly made tape has brought the right-leaning Tory party of the U.K. into a row over gay rights, as the shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling, was caught saying that he believed that bed-and-breakfast owners should “have the right” to reject homosexual couples from lodging.

The tape suggests not just the opinion of some Tories about homosexual rights at bed-and breakfast places but a larger ideological perspective on the right of private enterprises to discriminate against certain potential customers (think segregated restaurants in the U.S. decades ago). —JCL

The Guardian:

The Tories were embroiled in a furious row over lesbian and gay rights on Saturday after the shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling, was secretly taped suggesting that people who ran bed and breakfasts in their homes should “have the right” to turn away homosexual couples.

The comments, made by Grayling last week to a leading centre-right thinktank, drew an angry response from gay groups and other parties, which said they were evidence that senior figures in David Cameron’s party still tolerate prejudice.

In a recording of the meeting of the Centre for Policy Studies, obtained by the Observer, Grayling makes clear he has always believed that those who run B&Bs should be free to turn away guests.

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