LGBT conservatism

Last updated on 24 June 2017

LGBT right-wing politics (including LGBT alt-right politics, LGBT centre-right politics, LGBT conservative politics, LGBT liberal politics, and LGBT libertarian politics) is broad socio-political movement within the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community which embraces and promotes the ideology of right-wing politics. Gay conservatives may also refer to lesbian or gay persons with conservative political views.

The number of openly LGBT advocates for conservative policies has only become increasingly apparent since the advent of the modern LGBT civil rights movement in the 1970s, while many more LGBT conservatives remain closeted in countries where other socially conservative politicians have led the most organized LGBT Rights Opposition efforts. The situation and ideology for LGBT conservatives varies by each country's social and political LGBT rights climate.

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LGBT flag


Modern history

On July 29, 2015, Sweden Democrats held a LGBT pride march though a predominantly Muslim area of Stockholm, Sweden. Some on the left criticized the march as "provocative".[1]

Pre-Stonewall riots In 1852, under Cartista Prime Minister João Carlos de Saldanha Oliveira e Daun, 1st Duke of Saldanha, same-sex sexual intercourse was legalized throughout Portugal.

In 1870, the draft penal law submitted by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to the North German Confederation retained the relevant Prussian penal provisions criminalizing male same-sex sexual intercourse, justifying this out of concern for "public opinion":

Even though one can justify the omission of these penal provisions from the standpoint of Medicine as well as on grounds taken from certain theories of criminal law – the public's sense of justice (das Rechtsbewußtsein im Volke) views these acts not merely as vices but as crimes [...]".

On May 15, 1871, under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Paragraph 175 was enacted thought the German Empire.

In August 1885, under Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, the Labouchere Amendment passed August 7, 1885 becoming Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

In 1887, under National Autonomist Party President Miguel Ángel Juárez Celman, same-sex sexual intercourse was legalized thought Argentina.

On February 24, 1954, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, during a cabinet meeting, bluntly replied that the Conservative Party was not going to accept responsibility for making the law more lenient towards gay men. He suggested that an enquiry might be the way forward, proposed limiting press coverage of the convictions of homosexuals, and suggested that any man caught by police should be offered the option of medical treatment. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t touch the subject,” he said. “Let it get worse – in hope of a more united public pressure for some amendment.”

In 2007, Brian Coleman, a former openly gay Conservative member of the London Assembly and former mayor of Barnet, wrote in the New Statesman that alleged that in the mid-1950s, London police were aware that future Prime Minister Edward Heath was "cottaging" (seeking out anonymous sex partners in public lavatories) and that they warned him to stop, lest it damage his career. Coleman also claimed that gays "ran" the Conservative Party in London for many years, suggesting Heath may have been “protected”. “[Britain] had managed for decades with gay men holding a significant number of public offices”, Coleman wrote.

In 1957, after the international conference Wolfenden50, the Conservative government appointed the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution 1957 to investigate what were perceived as two increasing social problems, in the context of rising prosecutions. The committees terms of reference asked members to consider ‘the law and practice’ relating to both ‘homosexual offences and the treatment of persons convicted of such offences’ and to offences connected to ‘prostitution and solicitation for immoral purposes’. The association between homosexuality and prostitution reflected the committee’s assumption that both were forms of deviance threatening the family as ‘the basic unit of society’. The committee’s report in 1957 included as its first recommendation ‘That homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private be no longer a criminal offence’; other recommendations sought the tightening of the law concerning public same-sex behaviour and street prostitution, although acts of selling sex would remain legal.

In May 1965, Arthur Gore, 8th Earl of Arran and Conservative Party Chief Whip, introduced into the House of Lords a bill decriminalizing male same-sex sexual intercourse in England and Wales. During its passage, senior peers inserted a strict privacy clause, applying a more restrictive standard of privacy than for heterosexual behavior. This specified that a ‘homosexual act’ would not be considered ‘private’ if ‘more than two persons take part or are present’, or if occurring in a public lavatory. The bill passed through the Lords in July 1965 and was brought into the House of Commons by Conservative MP Humphrey Berkeley, known to be homosexual by many in parliament. After a Labour victory in the general election in 1966, Berkeley lost his seat and was replaced as the bill’s sponsor by Labour MP Leo Abse.

Prospective Conservative Prime Minister Robert Boothby (later Lord Boothby), who was homosexual, was peppered throughout parliament and the establishment, and hence their political colleagues had every interest in decriminalizing their activities. Boothby was involved in a friendship and possibly a sexual relationship with Ronnie Kray, while simultaneously the long-term lover of Lady Dorothy Macmillan, wife of Harold Macmillan, Conservative Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963.

When the Sexual Offences Act 1967 passed in 1967, only a handful of Conservatives voted for the decriminalization of male same-sex sexual intercourse, including future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

On June 25, 1969, shortly before the end of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) Grand Coalition headed by CDU Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, Paragraph 175 was reformed, in that only the "qualified cases" that were previously handled in §175a – sex with a man less than 21 years old, homosexual prostitution, and the exploitation of a relationship of dependency (such as employing or supervising a person in a work situation) – were retained. Paragraph 175b (concerning bestiality) also was removed.

Post-Stonewall riots Rise of LGBT conservatism In 1975, the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality (CGHE) was founded in the United Kingdom by Peter Walter Campbell. It was the first LGBT conservative organization ever.

In 2007, Brian Coleman, a former openly gay Conservative member of the London Assembly and former mayor of Barnet, wrote in the New Statesman that many of the gay politicians in the Conservative Party joined the party and became active during the Thatcher years. He also contended that the underlying ethos of Thatcherism might well be pro-gay and it was Margaret Thatcher's personality which attracted so many homosexual men to the party. The reason he contended that the Iron Lady drew many gay men to the Conservative Party was her pure elegance, feminine perfection, perfect dress sense, and sheer determination to change society and whilst her government might have had an anti-gay aura there was simply nothing in her personal attitude to demonstrate any prejudice, she appointed gay ministers, such as Earl of Avon (son of ex-Prime Minister Anthony Eden). On the subject of AIDS it was her government with Norman Fowler as Health Secretary which faced the issue head on and refused to take a "moral" tone on public information and prevention work. He fishes by stating that "There are many gay Tory men who would like to sleep with David Cameron but it is Lady Thatcher whose portrait hangs over their bed!"

During the First Thatcher ministry, Criminal Justice Act 1980 was passed in 1980, legalizing same-sex sexual intercourse in Scotland.

On May 28, 1988, during the Third Thatcher ministry, Clause 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 received a 2 to 1 majority in the House of Lords and a vote of 254 to 201 in the House of Commons.

In 1991, the CGHE reconstituted at the Conservative Party Conference and renamed the Tory Campaign for Homosexual Equality (TORCHE). The organization would remain active til 2004 when it disbanded.

During the 2002 Irish general election, only the manifesto of the Green Party explicitly referred to the rights of gay couples.

On April 21, 2003, the Ba'athist regime in Iraq was deposed. The Coalition Provisional Authority, established by the George W. Bush administration, abolished the death penalty and reverted to a revised 1988 penal code, thus legalizing same-sex sexual intercourse in Iraq.

On June 24, 2004, Fine Gael proposed legalizing civil partnerships for same-sex and opposite-sex couples who choose not to marry, the first Irish political party to do so.[12] In November 2004, in reaction to the legal challenge on tax issues Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader Bertie Ahern said "Couples want equality and we should try to deal with some of those issues" but added that moves to legalise gay marriage are "a long way off".[13] During the 2004 Irish presidential election, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Progressive Democrats, produced polices or made statements in favor of varying forms of recognition for same-sex couples. During the 2007 Irish general election, the manifestos of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Progressive Democrats, supported civil unions for same-sex couples. All parties ran advertisements in Gay Community News (GNC) with commitments to same-sex couples.

In 2010, Ógra Fianna Fáil came out in favor of same-sex marriage.

In 2010, the Botswana government, under the control of the Botswana Democratic Party, passed an amendment to its Employment Act that will bring an end to dismissal based on an individual's sexual orientation or HIV status.

In July 2011, Young Fine Gael came out in favor of same-sex marriage.

On October 5, 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron said at a Conservative Party conference that "So I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative."

On March 3, 2012, Fianna Fail came out in favour of same-sex marriage in Ireland.

On February 5, 2013, Marriage Act 2013, during its second reading, received in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom that Conservatives voted 126 for, 134 against (including 8 voted against from the Democratic Unionist Party), 5 both, and 36 did not vote.[18] On May 21, 2013, the act, during its third reading, received in the House of Commons that Conservatives voted 117 for, 127 against (including 8 voted against from the Democratic Unionist Party), 7 both, and 51 did not vote. On June 4, 2013, the act, during its second reading, received in the House of Lords that Conservatives voted against the Dear Amendment to reject second reading, 66 voted in favour, including 2 in favour from the Democratic Unionist Party, 1 in favour from Ulster Unionist Party, and 2 in favor from UK Independence Party, and 63 did not vote.[20] The act had its third reading on July 15, 2013, and was passed by a simple voice vote. The amended Bill returned to the House of Commons for approval of the amendments on 16 July 2013, which the House approved on the same day.

On November 5, 2013, Fine Gael came out in favour of same-sex marriage in Ireland.

On July 29, 2015, Sweden Democrats held a LGBT pride march though the predominantly Muslim area of Stockholm, Sweden. Some on the left criticized the march as "provocative".

By country


Right-wing LGBT organizations in Australia



Right-wing LGBT organizations in Canada


European Union



A French poll conducted from 27 to 28 April 2017 found that among 5,224 Hornet respondents that 63.50% of French gay men would vote for Emmanuel Macron, while 36.5% would vote for Marine Le Pen. The poll also found that among 5,093 Hornet respondents that 40.25% of French gay men voted for Emmanuel Macron in the first round of voting, 21.46% for Marine Le Pen, 7.05% voted for François Fillon, 1.79% voted for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, 0.75% voted for François Asselineau, and 0.41% voted for Jean Lassalle.[2][3]

A French poll conducted from 12 to 20 February 2017 found that among 3,212 Hornet respondents that 38.1% of French gay men would vote for Emmanuel Macron, 19.2% would vote for Marine Le Pen, 7.3% would vote for François Fillon, and 1% would vote for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.[4]





United Kingdom


In May 2017, PinkNews found 32% of British LGBT people supported the Conservative and Unionist Party, 14% supported the Liberal Democrats, and 0% supported the UK Independence Party.[5]


Right-wing LGBT organizations in Israel



Right-wing LGBT organizations in Switzerland



Right-wing LGBT organizations in Turkey


United States

Conservative LGBT individuals in the United States

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Conservative LGBT organizations in the United States


Conservative LGBT polling in the United States

Exit polling of the 2016 United States elections found that of the 1,228 LGBT American voters polled, 14% voted for Donald Trump.[6] Exit polling of the 2016 United States elections found that of the 938 LGBT American voters polled, 18% voted for a Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives.[7]

See also


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