Stephen Crabb, who was previously believed to have links to “gay cure” therapies, has dropped out of the race for Prime Minister after coming in fourth in the first round of voting.
In the first round of voting conducted by MPs yesterday, Theresa May led on 165 votes, with Andrea Leadsom on 66. Michael Gove amassed 48, while Stephen Crabb garnered 34 votes.
Also now out of the race is the anti-LGBT Liam Fox, who was eliminated out of the running for Conservative party leader after receiving just 16 votes.
When he dropped out, Crabb gave “wholehearted support” to Theresa May and described her as “the only one candidate in a position to unite our party and lead a strong and cohesive government”.
Both Crabb and Fox voted against the same-sex marriage proposals back in 2013, calling the proposals “absurd” and “divisive”. He also said that marriage equality “smacks of a form of social engineering of which Conservatives should be instinctively wary”.
While Crabb voted against gay marriage, he has backpedaled on some of his views recently, saying: “I totally, totally support equal marriage in law and I am playing my part in Government now to contribute and foster a climate and culture of tolerance and respect. I don’t want anybody in society feeling second best, whether that’s to do with the colour of their skin or their sexuality.”
As for Theresa May, the current strongest candidate in the race for Tory leader, her voting history is mixed. She did vote in favour of same-sex marriage, but voted against reducing the age of consent for gay people, the repeal of Section 28 and civil partnership.
However, she recently said: “I believe that if two people care for each other, if they love each other, if they want to commit to each other and spend the rest of their lives together then they should be able to get married. Marriage should be for everyone.”