With the British election campaign underway, the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights (LCLGR) worries that gay men might vote Liberal Democrat instead of Labour. So to help Tony out, the LCLGR has distributed beer mats (pdf) to gay venues across the country — the mats read "Go to bed with Charlie… wake up with Howard."
According to the Guardian "Political parties are increasingly keen to win over Britain’s estimated 2.5 million gay and lesbian voters… all three major parties, plus the SNP and Plaid Cymru, signed a pledge to run a homophobia-free campaign at the request of the gay rights group Stonewall."
Even Tory leader Michael Howard has softened his party’s traditional hostility to gay activism. As Margaret Thatcher’s Environment Minister, Howard introduced the notorious Section 28 into law in 1988. Section 28 of the Local Government Act was targeted as schools and stated that:
1) A local authority shall not:
(a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality
(b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship
But in a recent interview with Johann Hari, Howard now admits that introducing Section 28 was wrong. The Tory’s web site, however, still carries speeches and media releases supporting the section and condemning Labour’s attempts to repeal it (Labour eventually succeeded).