New Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today that his director of political strategy will be Spencer Livermore, a 31-year-old gay man. Last year Livermore was ranked #7 on the Independent’s Pink List. While no out lesbians or gay men have been appointed to his cabinet, Brown has made vast improvements over Blair's choices.
The new Communities Secretary will be Hazel Blears, who voted for the equalization of the age of consent, for the rights of gay couples to adopt, for civil partnerships, and against Section 28. Campaigning for Deputy Leader, she said the Conservative party was “riddled with homophobia.” Her new job includes responsibility for gay rights and the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. She replaces the horrid Ruth Kelly, who delayed the implementation of the Sexual Orientation Regulations and who, like Blair, favored allowing religious agencies an opt-out clause, permitting them to continue discriminating.
Brown appointed Baroness Ashton of Upholland as Leader of the Lords, a cabinet position. She steered the Sexual Orientation Regulations successfully into law, with no opt-out clauses, and last November, Stonewall, the UK’s largest gay rights organization, named her Politician of the Year.