Theresa May says sportsmen and newspaper editors must ‘take action’ against homophobia

Home Secretary Theresa May

Home secretary and equality minister Theresa May has said that cultural change is needed to overcome the last bastions of homophobia.

Writing for, Ms May said ensuring equality was “not a job for government alone”.

She wrote that “everyone in society” has a part to play and highlighted business leaders, sportsmen and newspaper editors as some of those who “need to take action”.

She continued: “Cultural change is not straightforward, but it is essential to advance the cause of LGB and T rights. Of course there is a role for politicians here too and I’m proud that this election saw an increase in the number of openly gay MPs in parliament, although we have further to go.”

This week, Ms May launched a document setting out the coalition government’s promises on gay and trans rights.

These included allowing gay people to have religious civil partnerships and removing historical convictions for consensual gay sex from criminal records.

On Wednesday evening, David Cameron became the first Tory prime minister to host a reception for the LGBT community at 10 Downing Street, where he said his party had been “slow learners” on gay rights.

Ms May’s appointment as equality minister was criticised last month after her poor voting record on gay rights was revealed.

She voted against equalising the age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, against gay couples jointly adopting and against lesbian IVF rights and was absent for other votes.

However, she did vote in favour of civil partnerships.

Following the criticism, she said: “If those votes were today, yes, I have changed my view and I think I would take a different vote.”