In December last year, Civil Partnerships became law in the UK. Gay and lesbian characters and relationships have been a part of mainstream UK soap operas for nearly 20 years. So why do we still have newspapers digging through phone records to expose Simon Hughes’ past gay relationships? He is not married. He is not [buying sex from rent boys](Mark Oaten). So why the hell is this news? Admittedly Hughes hasn’t helped his cause by denying his homosexuality in the recent past, but given the furore that his “outing” has raised, I can see why he wanted to try and keep it to himself:
I believe that people have a right to a private life, providing that their private life does not impinge upon their public responsibilities.
I have always maintained that someone’s sexual orientation should not be a barrier to public life in modern Britain.
I strongly believe that people should have a right to personal privacy.
I do not believe that anything that I have done has impinged upon my capacity to serve my constituents or fulfil any of the roles that I have sought, undertaken or am seeking for the future.
Well Mr Hughes, it’s a nice idea, but I think your experiences over the last few days just go to show that, sadly, this is not the case.