Chris Grayling, Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell, had a first-rate political career until he expressed a very mild and moderate view on the subject of homosexual rights.
Grayling, a grammar-school boy who went to Cambridge and then worked as a BBC producer, was an up-and-coming member of the Shadow Cabinet in the last months of the Labour Government. He held the post of Shadow Home Secretary.
In March 2010, shortly before the General Election, he went to a meeting of a group called the Centre for Policy Studies where there was a discussion on the case of Mr and Mrs Bull, hosts of a Christian Bed and Breakfast business, who had told a pair of men they could only have single beds, as their policy was to provide double beds only to married couples. This policy had been made quite clear on their website to all clients, and the men were no t turned away, merely offered different sleeping accommodation. They sued the Bulls for damages, and Grayling expressed the view that this was unjust as it the Bulls were not running a hotel, but having paying guests in their own home. Surely their right to choose their own principles should be respected? He made it plain that he would not approve of a hotel having such a policy.
Grayling’s remarks were secretly taped, and sold to various newspapers, which ran sensational reports. One was entitled “Secret tape reveals Tory backing for ban on gays,” [The Observer, 3 April 2010] and the media launched a campaign demonizing Grayling. He was called all the usual clichés – a “gay-hater”, “gay-basher”, and “homophobe”. Hysterical lefties and gay-magazines howled for his resignation. Incredibly, several members of the Conservative party actually resigned merely because of his remarks, and joined the Labour party. They were more horrified by the idea that queers might have to respect other peoples’ moral principles that they were by Labour’s war-mongering leader Tony Blair who was responsible for the deaths of about 600,000 people.
After the Conservatives won the May 2010 election, Grayling should have been made Home Secretary as he had successfully held that shadow post. However, the job was given to Theresa May. Grayling was demoted to being a junior minister in the Department of Work and Pensions, where he is subordinate to Ian Duncan Smith.