So Tory MP Nigel Evans is gay, eh? It comes as no surprise, because I’ve known it for some time. And his constituency party in Ribble Valley, England, have been telling him to jump out of the closet for quite a while, it seems.
The thing is, dear old Nige used to vote against gay law reform. He voted against the lowering of the age of consent, although he did get better when it came to votes on such things.
Some years ago, when I was editing the print edition of Gay & Lesbian Humanist magazine, we came by an online claim that he was among several MPs who were gay, who were voting against gay equality, and who were still in the closet. He was one of them.
As I recall, the website either withdrew the entire claim or subtracted the names. I didn’t use any names, either, in the news story I wrote – a decision based on journalistic judgement.
But there was Nige.
I sat in his flat in Swansea a few years ago as a radio reporter, shoving a microphone under his nose and wondering about him, able to see a bottom corner of his bed through the living-room door, across a corridor and through the open bedroom door. I was wondering at the time whether he shared it with a wife, a girlfriend or a boyfriend.
He was spouting antigay stuff as a county councillor at the time (this was before he got an MP’s job), and there he was: gay.
Well, at least he got better, voted in the right way, and has now decided to come out of the closet – something that is likely to happen today.