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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Why so coy, Mr Laws?

“Chief Treasury Secretary David Laws has apologised after it emerged he had been claiming MPs’ expenses to rent rooms in homes owned by his partner,” says the BBC.

And, whatever he says in his defence – i.e. that he didn’t consider the other person a partner in the sense that most people would – we have to ask why he would wish to keep the relationship out of the public eye.

Well, in case you don’t already know, Laws’s partner is male. And why did Laws get into this little fix? “My motivation throughout has not been to maximise profit but to simply protect our privacy and my wish not to reveal my sexuality,” he says.

So one has to ask: Why? What’s the big deal in this day and age, especially when openly gay MPs are to be found all over the place, happily getting on with being MPs?

Is Laws’s wish to keep his sexuality a secret some sort of admission that he’s ashamed of it? If he is, then perhaps he should seek counselling. But any gay man should know that being open and honest is what has helped to push gay rights as far as they have gone – not as far as they might, perhaps, but a long way from what they were a few years ago.

It’s one thing simply wanting to keep your private life private. Heterosexuals do that, too. But wanting to keep your sexuality a secret is something else, and people in Laws’s position can do a lot for the gay “cause” by simply being open. Not shouting things from the rooftops, just being open.

How many people are now looking at his story and wondering just what the hell is wrong with being gay?

1 comment:

George Broadhead said...

It has subsequently been revealed that Laws was educated at a Catholic school and has conservative Catholic parents who he was terrified of learning about his homosexuality. It is not clear, however, whether he himself is still a Catholic.