Maria Miller has been announced as the new culture secretary for the UK, but her voting history over LGBT rights has caused concern over her suitability.
Yesterday it was announced that David Cameron has appointed Conservative MP for Basingstoke, Maria Miller, as the new culture secretary for the UK. This means that Miller will be responsible for the newly moved Government Equalities Office, a move which has confused and shocked many political activists, as Miller has a less than positive record for LGBT rights.
Since becoming an MP, Mrs Miller has voted against LGBT rights, or been absent from the House of Commons during equal rights discussions. Therefore, what future does the UK have in terms of equality?
Miller was notably absent from the vote on the Equality Act of 2007, and in 2008 voted against allowing same-sex couples access to fertility treatment.
On Tuesday evening, Labour MP Chris Bryant tweeted, ‘Maria Miller is now in charge of the equalities unit consultation on equal marriage. She voted [against] gay adoption’.
In May this year, Mrs Miller urged Prime Minister David Cameron not to succumb to pressure from those on the far right of the Conservative Party, and to continue with the joint-coalition agreement to introduce same-sex marriage by 2015, showing that perhaps her views on equality are heading in the right direction.
Also, some reports have reminded people that back in May 2010 there was an uproar when Theresa May was appointed to the Women and Equalities brief, despite her less than favourable voting history.
Liberal Democrat blogger, Mark Pack, wrote on the LibDemVoice website, ‘All sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? Any sensible discussion wouldn’t therefore put Maria Miller’s voting record in the context of her predecessor’s voting record. Good thing we’re all sensible, isn’t it?’
In other political news, gay parliamentarian and MP for Grantham and Stamford, Nick Boles, has been promoted to the position of planning minister, and openly gay MP, Crispin Blunt, is returning to the backbenches after losing his job as prison minister.
Earlier in May this year, Mr Blunt recorded a video for the Out4Marriage campaign, along with deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. In the video he says, ‘If, like me, you were born in 1960, the pace of change around all the equality issues over the last decade or so has been incredibly impressive, and what it means is that issues like same-sex marriage and a lack of access to it now just seem like the anomalies that simply leave those remaining examples of inequality, that everyone now really accepts is unacceptable.’