No one, least of all the PM, had mentioned Europe, but I asked the gay couple whether they were out, or in. Out of course, they said, scandalised. Independence, proud nation, stand on our own two feet. And me? In. Why? they asked.
Because, I said, you assume there’s something inevitable about society’s progress towards greater equality, justice and freedom, for LGBT people or anybody else. Except there isn’t. Those beliefs have evolved slowly and painfully in Europe and the West since the Enlightenment, and globally they are under threat. The countries struggling to implement them, however imperfectly, need to stand together to defend them if they’re not to crumble under the onslaught of cultures with very different principles.
Islamic State would throw a gay couple off a building to their deaths.
So therefore we should stay members of an organisation which would let some few millions of such homophobes in then? Actually force them upon us at risk of a €250,000 fine?