Cameron must come out on gay rights | Tamsin Omond

If the Conservative leader does not have time to explain his party's stance on gay rights, we're taking gay pride to him

Easter Day and my extended family piled in, after church, as I sat and read the paper. Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, had let slip that he's closer to those that find gay people distasteful than he is to us gays. Bed and breakfast owners can breathe easy knowing that if the Tories win, no gay people need pass the threshold of their home.

Should we be that surprised? After all he is shadow home secretary for the Tory opposition. But we've been told there's a different Conservative story, David Cameron is its champion and this is what they say about picking on gay people: "Yes, we may have sometimes been slow and, yes, we may have made mistakes, including Section 28, but the change has happened."

Words are important when they promise action, and these words of Cameron's say that a mistake's been made, lessons have been learnt, and from now on it will be different. But recognising gays as equal is a complicated thing to do. Saying sorry is more than admitting you're wrong. It's making a commitment to never repeat that wrong. As recently as 2008, Cameron voted to restrict IVF access for lesbian women.

My family sat around the table would not talk to me about Grayling's revelations. I guess that most of them could see the B&B owners' point of view. People find it difficult to get over the feeling that gay people are being provocative just by being a bit too visibly gay.

On 31 March, Cameron launched his vision for a big society: "We want the state to act as an instrument for helping to create a strong society."

Just a week after, he left gay rights from society's agenda: "If something [specifically equal rights for gays] is about a bedrock equality issue, then yes, of course, there should be a whip. But on lots of, on lots of conscience issues uhmmm I think it is right to have, I think it is right to have, free votes … Could we stop for a second. I'd almost like to start completely from scratch."

It seems that giving the LBGT community the same rights as the heterosexual community is not "a bedrock equality issue" in Cameron's vision. His big society shrinks by the day.

In 2003, Cameron voted in favour of maintaining Section 28, a law that filled my school life with shame. Earlier this year, Tory MEPs abstained from voting against anti-gay legislation in Europe. Yesterday the shadow home secretary expressed his support for homophobic B&B owners. Nothing about Cameron inspires me that he will bring in a stronger, more woven society.

This week, Peter Tatchell and I aim to meet with David Cameron. If he has time to explain his party's stance on gay rights, then we give him that opportunity. If he will not, then we're taking gay pride to him.

Dave, we're throwing you a coming out party this Sunday 11th. You can either come out as someone who will actively support gay rights, or someone who will not. You say your proudest moment was getting people to listen to the Conservatives again. Isn't it time that you gave us more than words.


Tamsin Omond

The GuardianTramp

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