Tony Blair as a gay icon


Tony Blair named as one of top gay icons of past 30 years
Gay Times says accolade is in recognition of former PM’s moves such as lowering age of consent and abolishing section 28

Press Association
The Guardian, Friday 26 September 2014

Tony Blair has been recognised as one of the top gay icons of the past three decades, along with figures such as Boy George, Sir Ian McKellen and Barbra Streisand.

He has been given the accolade by Gay Times to mark its 30th anniversary.

Blair’s period as PM saw the lowering of the gay age of consent, bringing it into line with that for straight couples, as well as the introduction of civil partnerships.

Gay Times said Blair’s status as an ambassador of gay rights was undeniable.

“An equal age of consent, the abolition of section 28, legal recognition for trans people, civil partnerships, banning employers from sacking you because of who you love and making homophobia a hate crime – they were all on Blair’s watch.”

Blair featured on the cover to the magazine once before in March 1997, when he was still the leader of the opposition, although it was a stylised image rather than a posed shot. He also wrote for the magazine in 2005 in the runup to the general election of that year.

Responding to his “gay icon” title, he said: “It’s something I’m very proud of. I consider it a significant part of my legacy. I remember section 28, that was pretty nasty.

“It created a very ugly atmosphere in society – as I was growing up in politics, I disliked the hypocrisy where people had to conceal their own identity. And I saw the pain that they had in their own lives, because they couldn’t be who they were.”

The Gay Times editor, Darren Scott, said: “Wherever you stand politically, you would be hard pushed to deny what Tony Blair and his government did for the LGBT community. He definitely helped pave the way, and for that I’m grateful.”

英国の同性愛者雑誌The Gay Times*1トニー・ブレア*2を”top gay icons of past 30 years”に選出した。ブレア労働党政権の時代に、英国の同性愛者の権利は革命的ともいえる拡大を果たした。だから、彼が”an ambassador of gay rights”と讃えられるのは当然ともいえよう*3。ブレア政権の外交政策は〈ブッシュのプードル〉として酷いものだったが、内政に関しては、地方分権政策も含めて、ちゃんと評価されて然るべきものである。