Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for South West Devon and one of the leading forces on the Christian Conservative Fellowship, is backing moves to have Section 28 repealed. Mr Streeter said: that the clause had become “a totem of hatred and conflict”, and that it was time for it to go. “I’m happy for it to be consigned to the dustbin. It has become a symbol for the Conservative Party to be seen as anti-gays and it’s unhelpful. The issue has been blown up out of all proportion.”
In its place, he wants to see legislation that will still protect children and prevent things from being foisted upon them. A father of now grown-up children himself, he said that Section 28 should be replaced by something wider and better. He believes that the public is giving up on politics, and has taken the unusual step of moving from the Shadow Cabinet onto the back benches to “raise issues more robustly.
As Chair of the Conservative and Churches Standing Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party, he has played a leading role in putting Christian ethics on the political agenda, but he is keen to encourage other Christians to get more involved. “Parliament is a place where Christians can have an influence on the big issues of the day,” Mr Streeter said. “Section 28 is not a defining issue for Christians or Conservatives. We need to be focusing on the social agenda, on poverty and drugs. “Parliament is the safeguard of all the freedoms that flow from individual freedoms. That’s where the church needs to focus. Christians are turning their backs on politics because it’s become so grubby, but they should roll-up their sleeves and re-engage,” he urged.