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Gay MP who voted against equal age of consent appointed Minister for Equalities

2017-07-04
A gay MP who previously voted against equalising the age of consent for same-sex couples, has been appointed Minister for Equalities. Nick Gibb, the Minister of State for School Standards, has been given an expanded ministerial role which sees him have overall responsibility for "policy on sexual orientation and transgender equality" as well as "cross-government equality strategy and legislation." Gibb's new brief will see him responsible for tackling bullying in schools and implementing the government's mandatory Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) policy, announced earlier this year. Responding to the news on Twitter, the Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton wrote: "Proud to be appointed Minister for Equalities as well as Schools Minister. Huge progress made on LGBT & wider equality but more to do." Gibb first came out publicly as gay two years ago, announcing his intention to marry partner Michael Simmons, the chief executive of the Populus polling organisation, after 29 years together. He previously voted against equalising the age of consent for gay sex in 1998, but in 2003 voted to overturn the Section 28 ban on the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools and later voted in favour of civil partnerships and marriage equality. Gibb was congratulated on his new portfolio by former Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan, whose appointment in 2014 was widely criticised owing to the fact she had voted against equal marriage. Morgan, who was sacked from the role last July by Prime Minster Theresa May, wrote to Gibb on Twitter: "Many congratulations". Education Secretary and current Minster for Women and Equalities Justine Greening retains overall responsibility for Government Equalities Office. Ms Greening, who came out publicly during London Pride in June 2016, became the first LGBT politician to hold the Women and Equalities post when she was appointed to the role last July following Morgan's axing. More stories: Andrew Garfield: 'I'm a gay man now because I watch Drag Race' Apparently ejaculating this many times a month can lower the risk of prostate cancer