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Tory MP to Push GOP on Gay Rights

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In an appearance today at a Cato Institute forum, senior Tory MP Nick Herbert will tell American conservatives that support for gay rights is "an essential element of modern conservatism." The gay MP will speak at the event in Washington, D.C., that also will host blogger Andrew Sullivan and National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher.

According to London's Guardian, the shadow environment secretary will aim his remarks at Republicans, the traditional allies of conservatives, with a warning that intolerance drove his own party out of power in the United Kingdom.

Herbet also will express support for allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, and he will denounce the idea that liberals own the gay vote, the Guardian reports.

"Gay people are not the property of the left, or of any party," Herbert's speech reads. "They are not an interest group or a political commodity to be traded. They are not vessels for votes. Gay people are motivated by the same issues as any other voter. They will vote for the political party which best sits with their views -- so long as that party does not make itself taboo."

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