On arriving at the meeting of the Tory Kensington & Chelsea Selection Committee on the evening of Tuesday, 26th October, Michael Portillo was challenged by OutRage! protesters to defend his homophobic stance whilst a member of the previous Government.
Portillo, visibly unnerved by the verbal confrontation, hurried with head well down for a rear entrance of the Chelsea Old Town Hall where the preliminary selection meeting was being held. At no point did he respond to any of the stentorian questioning about his past record by Peter Tatchell.
Since publicity in "The Times" on 9th September about Portillo's admission of gay sex in his youth, his hypocrisy, cowardice, and selective honesty were exposed by his former lover, Nigel Hart, (Monday, 13-September-1999). Doubts about Portillo's integrity were also voiced by fellow former Tory minister Lord Tebbit, (an unexpected bedfellow in an OutRage! campaign).
JOIN our protest against Michael Portillo's homophobia and hypocrisy, on Tuesday, 2nd November, 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8, (opposite High Street Kensington tube).
Urge your organisation / friends / local gay group to join in. Bring your banner. Make some placards.
We will be picketing the Tory candidate Selection Meeting as party members arrive to cast their votes to choose the Conservative candidate to fight the forthcoming by-election.
OutRage! plans to erect a large billboard outside the Town Hall with the slogan "Portillo Screws Queers! Homophobe!".
We will also display placards emblazoned with "Portillo: Homophobe! Hypocrite! Unfit As MP", in bid to persuade local Tories that Portillo is unworthy to be their candidate.
Join our anti-Portillo protest for lesbian and gay rights. Let OutRage! know if you will be joining us: 020-74.03.17.90.
"Allowing the hypocritical homophobe Portillo a chance to be voted back into Parliament will do no one any favours", said John Hunt of OutRage!.
"Although various influential Conservatives have derided his mock honesty, Portillo remains on the now reduced selection list: and, as a former Minister, is considered by many observers to be the most likely to succeed as Conservative candidate.
"We want Kensington and Chelsea Conservatives to reject the untrustworthy Portillo. He consistently voted in favour of discrimination against homosexuals, and --by virtue of last month's European ruling on gays in the military-- is now internationally recognised as having abused human rights during his period as Secretary of State for Defence.
"Portillo supports Section 28 and an unequal age of consent. He does not respect universal human rights: and is therefore unfit even to be a candidate to sit in a modern, democratic Parliament", said Hunt.
BBC: Porter Portillo praises NHS "Transparent Stunt", 22-August-1999
BBC: Portillo: In his own words 9-September-1999
BBC: The path of Portillo 9-September-1999
BBC: Portillo's admission - the first comments 16-September-1999
BBC: Lord Tebbit -- Portillo 'not honest' about gay past 6-October-1999
Yahoo: Miscellaneous Tory News Items
Link to Conservative Party
Link to Ministry of Defence
Election Protest in Michael Portillo's Constituency 19-April-1997
Section 28: Schools attacked for buying gay sex education packs The Scotsman, 14-November-1999
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