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Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 14:53 UK
Cameron apologises for gay law

By Dave Howard
Newsbeat politics reporter

Richard (left) and a friend
Richard (left) and a friend say the Tories are jurst trying to win votes

The Tory leader David Cameron has said sorry to gay people for his party's attitude to homosexuality.

He admitted it probably wouldn't have happened five years ago but he told a Gay Pride event: "We got it wrong. I hope you can forgive us."

It's because of a law that was passed in the 80s when his Tory party was in power.

It was called Section 28 and it banned teachers from talking positively to their pupils about same sex relationships.

This afternoon, Richard's enjoying a cold drink in London's Soho area, a part of the city that's well known for its gay cafés and bars.

He was at school in the 80s when Section 28 was brought in. He grew up finding it tough to deal with a lot of anti-gay feeling.

He said: "I was incredibly confused. I remember one day walking down the street, someone looking at me and I literally ran in the opposite direction. I thought, 'They know, they know'."

Law 'wrong'

Richard says Section 28 stopped gay people from getting equality.

"Nobody talked about it because people were so worried about it. You just felt incredibly oppressed," he said.

The ban was lifted by Labour six years ago. But it's long caused friction between traditional Tories, some of whom still support measures like Section 28, and people like David Cameron, who's trying to modernise the party.

David Cameron
David Cameron said he was sorry on behalf of the Tory Party

Earlier this week the Tory leader told a gay pride event that Section 28 was wrong.

He added that it was one of his proudest moments in charge of the party, when he said they should support same sex marriage.

But Richard still doesn't trust the Conservative leader, and he's not convinced he'll get some traditional Tories to support his apology.

He said: "They're trying to change their spots just to try and win votes."

There'll be an election within 12 months. With this kind of speech, David Cameron's trying to show that his party's kept up with the times and he's trying to get more people to vote Tory.



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