Culture Secretary Maria Miller appeals for dialogue with gay community

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The UK’s new culture secretary, who was controversially given the responsibility of looking after the Government Equalities Office in this week’s reshuffle, is keen to begin discussions with LGBT organisations.

Individuals, ranging from grassroots activists to prominent gay politicians, have all been commenting on Maria Miller’s poor LGBT voting record.

During a visit to a business in central London today, Bloomberg reports the culture secretary, who until this week was the minister for the disabled, as saying:

“I can say very clearly that I have worked for many years in the area of disability and also women’s equality and I am absolutely committed to making Britain a more equal society,”

She added: “Perhaps looking at voting records isn’t the way to assess what people think about in this world and perhaps actually talking to them is a better way of doing it.”

According to the politics website, since becoming a Conservative MP in 2005, Mrs Miller has either voted against or been absent from all major LGBT rights votes in the House of Commons.

She was absent from the vote on the Equality Act of 2007, and she voted against allowing same-sex couples access to fertility treatment in 2008.

Earlier in the week, Mark Pack, blogger of the LibDemVoice website, said there was equal displeasure from some people when Home Secretary Theresa May was initially given responsibility for the GEO in May 2010.

Whilst also having a questionable LGBT voting record, Mrs May subsequently demonstrated her commitment to supporting gay rights by recording an Out4Marriage video earlier this year.

In a comment piece for this evening, LGBT campaigner and Labour Party member Chris Ward said it was important for both the new culture secretary and equalities minister, Helen Grant, to make their views on equal marriage known, before passing judgement.